There are so many glaring omissions from the Draft National Planning Framework published on Thursday last and it is a document that pays little or no heed to rural Ireland and to the West in particular.
If we have any aspirations to support rural Ireland then we must put the infrastructure in place to support rural communities but there is none of that here. For instance do the people who live between Lettrkenny to Charlestown not deserve a proper road that could join up with the new motorway? And remember that is not even in my own constituency. Do the people in Mayo and Roscommon not deserve a proper road between Mullingar and Ballaghaderreen? There is no mention of those roads at all.
With regard to once-off housing in rural areas there is a document that has been sent around to county managers which states very clearly that there will be no one-off houses being built in rural Ireland. If that is the case then that is the way to close the local school, the local shop and post office and to starve rural communites that will just wither away and die.
When it comes to rail services we are planning to get rid of four rural lines at a time when the Government is preaching about public transport and climate change and all we are going to do in that regard up to 2020 and 2030. There is no vision whatsoever in this document. I am not for one minute suggesting that there are no problems in the larger urban areas but this document ignores many of the vital requirements that we need as a country going forward.
I want the Minister to go back to the drawing board with this National Planning Framework. Take note of the submissions that have been made and come up with a realistic plan for the future.

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