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Irish minister commits to rural development blueprint

Words: Roger Milne

Housing and planning minister Simon Coveney has welcomed the Irish Government’s rural action plan and committed to further rural development proposals in the forthcoming National Planning Framework.

Overall, the plan aims to reinvigorate more than 600 rural and regional towns through an investment of about €60 million over the next three years.

The plan also pledges to develop an Atlantic Economic Corridor to drive jobs and investment along the western seaboard.

The strategy includes proposals to remove the need for planning permission to allow the change of use of vacant commercial properties in cities, towns and villages (including vacant or underutilised areas over ground-floor premises) into housing.

The government said the plan could support the creation of 135,000 new jobs in rural Ireland by 2020, assist more than 4,000 projects in rural communities, increase the number of visitors to rural Ireland by 12 per cent and accelerate the preparation for the roll-out of high-speed broadband.

The Action Plan for Rural Development can be found here (pdf).

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