The planning and economic development SPC of Mayo County Council will have to keep a close eye on the new planning bill that is passing through the Oireachtas at the moment. The bill caused a lot of concern for the members of Mayo County Council at their monthly meeting the previous week when it was raised and the members of the SPC expressed similar concerns.
The members of the SPC were speaking on their goals for the next five years as members of the committee when Fine Gael Councillor Eugene McCormack told the meeting that “If it goes through in its current format then it will have detrimental effects for the county as a whole. We need to make sure that we know exactly what is planned to come on down the track.” Fellow Fine Gael Cllr Michael Burke told the meeting that “just referring to what Cllr McCormack brought up, this new planning bill is a very serious issue and will give serious powers to the Department of Environment over the elected members of this or any other council. With no plans for towns under a population of 5,000 as the bill currently has, a lot of towns in Mayo will be seriously disadvantaged.”
Director of services for Mayo County Council Joe Loftus told the meeting that, “this is a very important SPC for the council as a whole and the new planning bill is an issue that has been raised by members already. Senior planner Ian Douglas will be giving the council a full briefing on the bill at the December meeting and he is working hard on this at the minute to give the members the full information on the issues that it will bring up.”