Latest Laois News: Greens voice concerns about Laois County Development Plan Changes
County Development Plan Changes have Greens concerned
Greens Concerned by Changes to Laois County Development Plan
A Green Party representative has expressed disappointment in decisions taken by Laois County Council in relation to the County Development Plan.
John Holland, the party’s representative in Portarlington-Graiguecullen pointed out that councillors have made it difficult to develop housing in urban centres, instead encouraging car-dependent housing in rural areas.
“The Green Party is pushing for a town-centres-first approach to how we plan our housing,” he says. “It strengthens a town when you have people living in the centre. You get a stronger and more connected community, better health and education services for all and you reduce the need for daily car journeys.”
Councillors voted to put a limit on the height of apartment blocks for Portlaoise and to change the regulations to make it easier to build houses in rural area.
“We’re in the midst of a housing and climate crisis and the Government is striving to put proper and sustainable planning policies in place. Laois Councillors have done us no favours by bucking against those policies and putting us out of step with other local authorities and the broader government planning strategy” said Mr. Holland.
Minister Pippa Hackett expressed concern around another aspect of the Laois councillors’ decision-making.
“They are attempting to go against national policy on buffer zones around wind turbines at a time when we desperately need renewable energy. This has been tried before by local authorities and it simply doesn’t work,” she says. “The government of the day makes that decision.”