Green Party: One-off rural housing must be restricted in NPF

6th February 2018

Restrictions will create critical mass in rural towns and villages, says Noonan

The Green Party said today that the Government must not deviate from plans to restrict one-off rural housing under the proposed National Planning Framework (NPF). The party said that objections from many rural TDs to the plan are based on an persistent obsession with further easing restrictions on one-off housing at a time when many rural areas are unable to cope with the infrastructure required to service individual properties.

Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson for Rural Development, Councillor Malcolm Noonan said: “The era of unrestricted development of one-off housing in rural areas has come to an end. It has been a fundamentally flawed policy for decades that is not just anti-rural but has been a contributory factor in the decimation of our towns and villages.

“One-off rural housing is extremely expensive on local authorities and other agencies in provision of roads, waste collections services, groundwater pollution, electricity, lighting, postal services and broadband. Concentrating serviced planning, clustered around towns and villages and within towns and villages would give capacity to retail, urban mobility and to services such as water and wastewater, where urban areas are connected in to modern treatment facilities.

“One-off housing has created a huge headache and a ticking time bomb of rural isolation as transport and mobility undergo a rapid transition. It has exacerbated rural generated traffic towards urban centres that is highly polluting. Over 40% of all new housing constructed in Ireland over the past two decades has been one-off rural housing, so why then are our rural schools, post offices and shops closing?

“A continuation of expansion into rural Ireland will further erode the quality of the natural environment, see the removal of thousands of kilometres of hedgerows and do nothing for the economic viability of rural Ireland. Government must hold firm on the NPF and ensure that our cities, towns and villages become growth centres to develop critical mass for sustainable development and resilient communities.”