Green representative fears Westport will return to ‘bad old days of planning’

Green Party representative for Westport, Fergus McAllister, said that Fine Gael attempts to row back on planning legislation introduced by John Gormley would set Irish planning back decades “to the bad old days of speculation and reckless zoning”.

He said that he was surprised by comments by Westport town councillors last week which seemed to suggest that former minister John Gormley’s Planning and Development Act 2010 was bad for Westport.

He said that Fine Gael should be reminded that its councillors throughout the country were as guilty as any others of the reckless zoning which has resulted in ghost estates and negative equity.

According to Mr McAllister Westport already has seven times more housing units provided than needed – through zoning, planning applications and existng empty units.

“Rowing back on sustainable planning legislation will put us on the slippery slope to what got this country into the mess it is in,” he said. “It makes sense that planning powers and control should lie centrally considering what the alternative resulted in. We need to think and act as a coherent country, not a collection of little republics looking after our own.”

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