Sunday, July 08, 2007

 

Local Plan for Stamullen out for Consultation

The Local Area Plan for Stamullen moved a step forward this week. At the Council meeting on Monday it was agreed to put the plan on public display. The plan provides details of the future development of the village, particularly between the Gormanston Road and the Cockhill Road. It comes about because of a deal done by the GAA with local landowners. The key points are that the GAA swap their land for 3 new pitches and the community gets a new linear park along the river Devlin. There's also an extension to the school site and a new sewerage treatment facility - infrastructure that is badly needed by Stamullen and without which it would not have been possible to allow the plans to proceed. In return the landowners get land zoned for residential purposes. The deal was agreed a few years back, but like everything else, it takes time for something like this to reach fruition. This latest stage means that the public have the right to look at the plans and provide their comments prior to the Local Area Plan being formally adopted by the council. The draft plan is available to view at the One Stop Shop in Duleek and I'd encourage people to drop in and have a look.

On Saturday I attended a Conference on Local Authority Planning issues. It was fairly well attended and I got to meet a lot of fellow Councillors there. One particularly good session was hosted by Councillor Tom Kelleher of Fingal County Council. He covered the issue of how Councillors can use local government leglislation to achieve their aims and also had a general discussion about how to constrain development when local services are not available to accommodate additional building. I made the point that what we are doing in places like Donacarney and Bettystown is to limit development by means of a cap for the life of the plan, and that this has now been incorporated into the County Development Plan. Other councils seem to be doing similar things - Councillor Kelleher outlined how Fingal have a zoning objective to zone residential land only for the life of one plan (5 years). That allows then to revisit their decision at the time of the next plan and if necessary, dezone the land without fear of being sued for compensation by the landowners. Perhaps we could look at something similar in Meath when we come to producing the local area plans for our towns and villages next year.

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