Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has said that non-farming rural dwellers must have greater opportunities to build a home in their own townland.
Speaking ahead of a proposed motion, which Sinn Féin is tabling in the Assembly tomorrow, Mr. McElduff stated
“Under the present planning policy PPS 21, it is almost impossible for a non farmer living in a rural setting to secure planning permission to build a new home.
“Many of these people belong to families who have lived in the same townlands for generations yet under current regulations are being forced out.
“Rural communities are made up of people who are directly involved in farming and others who while they don't have a connection to farming make a valued contribution to sustainable rural communities.
"As it stands, PPS21 does contain some possibilities for farm dwellings and this is positive but what we need is for PPS 21 to repeat that for non farming rural dwellers..
Sinn Féin planning spokesperson Cathal Boylan added,
“Sinn Féin is bringing forward a motion to the Assembly in order to address this deficit in the current regulations and bring about changes that will allow for non farming rural dwellers to set up home in the areas where they were raised.
“I would call on all other parties to support this motion which is in fact a motion of confidence in developing our rural communities.”