Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP, has confirmed that discussions are finalised on planning guidelines on planning policy and roads under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000.
I have been expressing personal concern for some time that reasonable development proposals, especially houses, on lightly trafficked national secondary roads in Donegal and of course nationally, should not be automatically blocked in the planning process. It is currently the case that permission to develop a house with access to a national secondary road is automatically forbidden even where the level of traffic on that road is relatively low”, said Pat the Cope.
“I am pleased to confirm that officials in the Department of Transport, the Department of the Environment and the National Roads Authority have now finalised a review of the guidelines in relation to planning policy and national roads.
Given the intrinsic relationship between transport and planning policies, and the need for both sets of policies to be consistent and complementary, I believe that planning guidelines will assist in ensuring that roads planning, development planning and development management processes are appropriately aligned in accommodating suitable development proposals on lowly trafficked roads. These guidelines could provide opportunities for developments to be undertaken on the N56,” continued Pat the Cope.
“It is, of course, critically important that these proposed guidelines, are applied in a balanced and reasonable manner that, on the one hand, protects the State’s investment in national roads from becoming prematurely obsolescent and on the other hand, does not create an inflexible barrier to reasonable development proposals including housing, which meet design and safety criteria, especially on lightly trafficked national secondary and non-national roads”, stated Pat the Cope.
Pat the Cope, who initiated this process as Minister of State in the Department of Transport, has welcomed the advancement made by the relevant departments in developing the proposed guidelines and stated it made “no sense to sterilise the development of lands along the N56 where the necessary road safety and visibility requirements can be achieved.
Pat the Cope stated that on the publication of the guidelines that the relevant local authorities will have to take the new guidelines into consideration and incorporate them in the County Development Plan.