Ballinamore area election candidate Pat Gilhooley
Ballinamore area election candidate Pat Gilhooley says that planning rules for rural areas need to be addressed urgently.
“The present strict conditions are preventing the building of one-off rural houses with a consequent knock-on effect that is driving local people from the countryside and leading to rural depopulation and rural decline,” he said.
Mr Gilhooley believes that national government as well as local authorities have to seriously look at what is happening and not be hiding behind EU directives.
“While everybody wants to be mindful of EU water directives and environmental concerns the reality is that if the present trend continues the communities in the west and north-west will cease to exist.
“The cost of council approved septic tank systems at €55,000 render it impossible for young locals to build in their home areas. It is grossly unfair.
“Rural communities are being discriminated against and there needs to be a relaxation of the strict interpretation of EU rules in order to allow rural people and farming communities build in rural areas,” he said.