Protect Our Towns and Villages
Fianna Fáil believes a new fresh approach is needed to ensure our towns and villages are lively social and economic hubs for the entire community. Our measures include new urban design, strong public transport links and a new strategy for the use of public buildings.
Other proposals include changes to planning laws to encourage town centre development and new financial incentives for local authorities to invest in urban renewal. Through these initiatives, we will safeguard healthy communities with strong businesses, high employment and a dynamic cultural life, which forms the bedrock of vibrant communities.
Fianna Fáil’s plan to reinvigorate our towns and villages
Reform the commercial rates system
The current system has to encourage start-ups and regional development, not penalise them. A reformed system will secure the foundations of local authority finance and help promote enterprise into the future in both urban and rural areas.
New urban design
Strong public transport links and the new Building Usage Strategy “Empty Shops Initiative”. Renewed emphasis on building use flexibility and reformed urban design frameworks that utilise the architectural framework of Irish towns. Creating strong public transport links for ease of access.
Create Town Teams to lead the way in revitalising town centres. These Town Teams will undertake an “Empty Shop Initiative” which will earmark empty units and work with local community groups who need space to ensure they are used.
Address planning laws
Change planning laws to encourage town centre development and facilitate flexible planning permissions to allow vacant commercial units to be turned into residential units in order to attract people back into living in town centres.
Expand the use of business improvement districts to enable local authorities to invest in urban renewal.
Specialist IDA, EI units for rural towns
New specialist IDA, Enterprise Ireland unit for rural towns to better attract foreign direct investment.
Support the post office network
Support the post office network by expanding post office services so that they act as central offices for state payments and charges e.g. motor tax, local authority charges, hospital charges and banking services.