Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to be up front and outline clearly, before the next local elections, the changes that he is proposing in relation to rural housing guidelines.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented “Following a European court case called the Flemish Decree, the Minister stated that he was going to review these guidelines and that he would publish the guidelines once this review was carried out.

“In a reply to a question put down by my colleague, Deputy Darragh O’Brien, the Minister said that he expects to be in a position to shortly finalise and issue to planning authority revisions to the 2005 rural housing guidelines that take account of the relevant ECJ judgement.

“It is my suspicion that the Minister is holding off issuing these guidelines, because of the detrimental effect they will have on rural Ireland, until after the forthcoming local elections.

“I call on him to come up front now and outline clearly what the effect of the proposed changes in the National Housing Guidelines will be on housing policy for local authorities and to do this before the election so that the electorate get a democratic choice to vote on the policies of the Government in this regard.

“I will continue to press this matter until I get an answer and I would remind the Government of its commitments to openness and accountability with the electorate,” concluded Deputy Ó Cuív.