*Garry Miley. 

A MOVE TOWARDS a centralised planning system is evident in a recent directive issued to Clare County Council over its County Development Plan.

As reported by The Clare Echo last week, Minister of State at the Department of Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell (FG) issued a directive to the County Council to reinstate nineteen zoning objectives and amend one zoning objective as set out in the Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 and to also delete a subsection of the plan.

This directive followed the establishment in 2019 of the Office of the Planning Regulator. The OPR’s role is to ‘ensure that local authorities and An Bord Pleanála support and implement Government planning policy’. Since its establishment it has issued directives to councils in Clare, Galway and Waterford instructing them on the zoning of lands. These directives have proved controversial.

Chairman of the Clare Social Democrats, Garry Miley told The Clare Echo this directive “is a further indication that we’re moving towards a centralized planning system. The way we’re going, ordinary people in Clare will soon have little or no say in how their communities are planned”.

In his correspondence to the County Council, Limerick TD O’Donnell said elements of the County Development Plan are “inconsistent with national policy objectives”.

Killaloe based Garry stated, “As a community, we need to decide if we want every aspect of planning to be controlled by a government minister. I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of most people in Clare when I say that this is definitely not the way we want to go”.

He continued, “The current Government doesn’t have a clear understanding of what planning is for or how it works. In response to the pressing needs of modern life, the government is limiting local debate and imposing control over important decisions. This is the opposite of what’s needed. It’s the opposite of how good planning operates”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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