Young people clear that planning inconsistency remains the biggest challenge
In recent weeks Macra na Feirme has engaged in a nationwide consultation with its members on the topic of rural housing and planning.
The preliminary findings from this consultation have highlighted three major issues with rural housing and planning namely, lack of consistency across local authorities both in terms of planning requirements and cost associated with planning, delays in planning approval relating to minor aesthetic features and divergences relating to the implementation of local area plans.
In light of the pandemic and the associated evolution in working arrangements, attendees also highlighted the importance of ensuring that infrastructure in rural areas is comparable with services in larger urban settings.
Issues such as access to high-speed broadband, frequent public transport services and roll-out of digital hubs in areas of high demand were all identified as key concerns in rural communities. It was also noted that the provision of auxiliary services such as access to affordable childcare and healthcare were key considerations for people setting up a home in rural communities.
“The need to ensure economic prosperity of rural communities was linked in all of identified issues” said Macra na Feirme National President John Keane “Macra has consistently highlighted the need to ensure that people living and working in rural Ireland receive an income that is equitable to those living in urban areas.”
Macra na Feirme is calling on the Irish Government to engage and construct policies that break down barriers for rural living while also ensuring that all people living in rural areas have equal service provision and opportunity.