County development plan 'will restrict' young people from West Cork homes

County development plan 'will restrict' young people from West Cork homes

The sun sets over Mizen Head Signal Station. Former councillors in West Cork claim new proposals in the Cork County Development Plan will make it even more restrictive for young people to get planning permission for a family home in the rural and coastal areas. Picture: Cian O'Regan

Former county councillors are claiming that communities in West Cork feel let down again by a new proposal being put forward in the County Development Plan (CDP) regarding planning in rural areas.

The two former public representatives claim it will make it even more restrictive for young people to get planning permission for a family home in the rural and coastal areas.

Former Fine Gael councillor Dermot Sheehan from the Mizen Peninsula and ex-Fianna Fáil councillor Danny Crowley from the Beara Peninsula have called for the CDP process to be deferred until the public health guidance will allow for proper and meaningful public consultation to take place.

They maintain the new planning restrictions are being introduced without proper consultation with the local communities and many are totally unaware of the serious implications that planning policy will have on future generations with a European type model of urban settlements being proposed right across West Cork.

Mr Crowley said changes to rural policy are being introduced with little or no regard for the impact they will have on coastal communities.

“This will see many townlands return to the wilds and be lost to future generations. I have asked who is driving this policy and we are being told that it is being advised by Government. However, this would seem to be in total contradiction to rural regeneration proposals being looked at post-Covid,” Mr Crowley said.

Mr Sheehan said he'd a real concern for the local GAA clubs who are already struggling to field teams in some age groups.

“We need our young people to have that choice when setting up a family home in their native parish. 

"I would also support the call for this process to be deferred as it is not possible to have consultation with the community when we need to hear all the views and then agree to a policy that will sustain the many services that are needed in rural Ireland,” Mr Sheehan said.

They said an action group is currently being formed in West Cork that will endeavour to have this issue resolved and ensure that local voices are again heard and be part of planning policy for West Cork.

“We have some of the most enjoyable scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way, but it is also there for our local population to enjoy and pass on to the next generation,” Mr Crowley said.

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