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Consider Chief Executive's Report on the preparation of new draft County Development Plan 2022-2028
Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mary Bohan welcomed all to the meeting to consider the Chief Executive’s Report on thepreparation of new draft County Development Plan 2022-2028 and she invited Mr Bernard Greene, Senior Planner to give a presentation.
Mr Bernard Greene, Senior Planner gave a presentation to the Members. A copy of the presentation as circulated to the Members appears as Appendix 1 to the Minutes of this Meeting in the Minute Book.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mary Bohan thanked Mr Bernard Greene for his informative presentation and invited Mr Lar Power, Chief Executive to give an overview.
Mr Lar Power, Chief Executive said the presentation is concise and this is the situation since the workshop held on the 23rd November 2020 with the Elected Members.
The Members thanked Bernard Greene for his presentation and raised the following:-
Cllr Felim Gurn proposed that an expert be taken on to deal with the issue in regard to wastewater treatment systems for one off housing over the remaining period of this Council and he said Leitrim is not unique in this regard. He outlined that arising from Covid 19 that there is significant interest in people returning to and others moving to Leitrim.
Councillor Des Guckian said that he had attended one of the public consultation meetings with the Senior Planner and based on reading the Chief Executives Report feels that he wasted his time in attending. He outlined that rural areas and farming is dying. Wind farm companies and foresters are speculating and buying up lands. There is no real intention to rescue this situation. The County Development Plan for Leitrim is aspirational and the ordinary citizen pays the most. The County Development Plan is seeking to force people into towns. More thought needs to be given to disperse the population further.
Councillor Sean McDermott expressed his concern about the number of houses in rural Leitrim and he highlighted that some areas are weaker than others. Councillor McDermott said this issue is not being addressed, areas are dying due to depopulation and we cannot stand by on this issue as rural areas won’t survive without people. The Council need to be more active in stabilising rural populations and allow more one off houses to be developed.
Councillor Justin Warnock supported Councillor Gurn’s proposal and agreed that the issue of one off housing needed to be addressed. Councillor Warnock considered that occupying existing vacant dwellings, some would of which could be redeveloped as replacement homes, would also have a huge part to play to this issue.
Councillor Justin Warnock highlighted that the Forestry Policy currently in place is ridiculous with high, low and medium capacity. Cllr Warnock stated it should be a low capacity or ‘no capacity’ policy for forestry in County Leitrim and he stressed that the cumulative impact of forestry is not been taken into account since the last County Development Plan was made.
Councillor Justin Warnock said Leitrim County Council do not have a Biodiversity Plan and that Leitrim has a ... view the full minutes text for item MM.170.20