Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has raised concerns over how new planning guidance could further restrict housing building in the countryside and has urged the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to revisit the guidance and engage with councils over their significant concerns.
The Newry and Armagh MLA said:
“More must be done to address the shortage of homes in rural areas, particularly for younger families who want to live in their own local community.
“It is concerning that guidance received by Councils from Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon could make it even more difficult for planning permission to be granted to build new homes in rural areas.
“At the Infrastructure committee today I asked Minister Mallon to revisit this guidance and to ensure that it supports rural families and communities.
“Minister Mallon must now urgently and meaningfully engage with local councils to address issues around this guidance and the detrimental impact that it could have on younger families in rural communities.
“Many younger people and families want to live in the local communities in which they have grown up and we must actively work to ensure that they have this opportunity.
“Sinn Féin will continue to work to get more homes built for families in rural communities. The planning system must work for communities, not disadvantage them.”