Leitrim councillors say the current plan is obsolete
Leitrim's county councillors have unanimously backed a motion calling on all political parties and Independents to “immediately begin work on drafting a new National Plan” to replace the existing 2020-2040 plan, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cllr Des Guckian brought forward the proposal at last Friday's council meeting noting the pandemic had significantly changed the economic and social landscape of the country.
“Since the arrival of Covid, the country is all turned on its head,” he said.
“The current National Plan 2020-2040 had an urban hierarchy at its core. It was a European model (for development) and not the right national model for Ireland.”
The Independent councillor said that you cannot compare the urban and rural environments of Ireland and said it was vital that the current National Plan be revised to take into account the impact of Covid-19.
He noted that more people are working remotely and said the focus should be to ensure the provision of high speed “fibre broadband to all rural areas in an emergency situation”.
He said that it is also crucial that planning issues for rural Ireland be addressed in light of the fact that more people are now considering the move out of urban areas.
“Let's get to it an give (planning) permissions which are widely needed,” he said. “We have got to use the Covid situation as an opportunity to renew rural Ireland and the West of Ireland in particular.”
He said at local level councillors will need a new national blueprint for the next County Development Plan as the “old one is now totally obsolete.”
Cathaoirleach Cllr Mary Bohan said that she was happy to second the motion and said that it was something that all members could support.
Cllr Guckian asked that the motion be forwarded to all the parties and the Independents in the Dáil.