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Sinn Féin reject Arlene Foster’s Rural Planning paper

11 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Rural Planning, Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan, who is the deputy Chairperson of the Assembly Environment Committee, has confirmed that Sinn Fein voted against Arlene Foster's Emerging Findings Paper on Rural Planning (PPS14).

Mr Boylan said:

"It is impossible to support these proposals as they are currently drafted. They fail to find the right balance between protecting our rural environment and promoting a future for our rural communities.

"Arlene Foster has failed to bring forward proposals that we can support and when they were brought to the committee we had no option but to reject them. Sadly the unionists on the committee have now endorsed these set of proposals that will have a devastating impact on our rural communities.

"At this early stage Sinn Fein will be working with all of the stakeholders across our rural communities to mount a vigorous campaign against these proposals. It is for unionists to explain to the people living in rural communities that they claim to represent quite why they have bought into this Emerging Findings Paper because in our view there is certainly not enough there at present.

"In particular we are concerned at the impact on non-farmers living in rural communities. Given that the majority of people in our rural communities are not farmers it is difficult to see how Arlene Foster is proposing to meet their needs and protect the identity of the rural way of life." ENDS

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