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Rural Planning - Sinn Féin begin rural stakeholder meetings

5 May, 2006

Sinn Féin delegations will today meet with the Rural Development Council (at 11am) and the Rural Community Network (at 2pm) in Cookstown as part of a series of stakeholder meetings with those affected by the draft planning guidelines, PPS 14, published in March.

MLA's Francie Molloy and Francie Brolly and cllr Sean Clarke will meet the RDC and Michelle Gildernew MP, and MLA's Philip McGuigan and Francie Molloy will meet the RCN.

Speaking today Sinn Féin Spokesperson of Agricultural and Rural Development Michelle Gildernew MP said:

"Rural planning and the impact that the proposed changes that PPS 14 will have on rural communities is creating major uncertainty through rural areas right across the Six Counties.

"Sinn Féin is determined to ensure that the balance between protecting the environment for this and future generation and the protection of the rural way of life is right.

"Over the coming weeks and months Sinn Féin will be meetings with all rural stakeholders to ensure that we can arrive at a sensible position on the way forward.

"We need people to make their voice heard because there will be very serious implications for the long-term future of rural communities if the punitive aspects to the current proposals are not altered. These draft proposals that have been dumped on us by British direct rule ministers who have no more sense of how rural Ireland works than the man in the moon." ENDS

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