18 Aug 2022

New development plan for Carlow shows strong commitment to sustainable growth

New development plan for Carlow shows strong commitment to sustainable growth

The plan will come into effect next Monday July 4

The recently adopted Carlow County Development Plan 2022-2028 shows a clear commitment to sustainable growth and lays out a strong vision on topics like housing, climate action, employment and enterprise, the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has said.

The plan will come into effect next Monday July 4.

In the plan adoption letter, the OPR has especially commended the local authority’s commitment to supporting national renewable energy targets under the Climate Action Plan 2021 and praises the plan for its vision for vibrancy for Carlow’s towns and villages.

This is the first time that a development plan prepared by Carlow County Council has been assessed by the OPR.

Established on foot of the Mahon Tribunal Report, the OPR provides independent oversight of the planning system. One way the OPR does this is to independently assess the various stages of local authority plans to ensure they properly apply important national and regional government policies.

Commenting on the new Carlow Development Plan, Planning Regulator, Niall Cussen said;

“Carlow County Council has set clear development objectives for the county which will support quality of life through local employment, high quality development and an innovative economy while also supporting a transition to a low carbon climate resilient environment.

This plan puts healthy place-making at its heart in order to create a county where sufficient homes are available within an integrated network of vibrant successful urban and rural communities and open countryside.

The focus now needs to move towards implementation so that the attractive places to live, work and invest envisaged in the plan, come forward.

We are also satisfied with the manner in which the vast majority of our recommendations and observations were addressed at draft plan and material alterations stages.

In some cases, while our recommendations were not fully implemented, we felt that the local authority provided good rationale for their decisions in relation to local development objectives for Carlow Town, Rathvilly, Leighlinbridge and Hackettstown.”

In total, the OPR made five recommendations and nine observations on its submission at Draft Carlow County Development Plan stage, and three recommendations in its submission at the Material Alternations stage to the Draft Carlow County Development Plan. 

Recommendations are made on matters considered to constitute a potential material breach of legislative or policy requirements and which may affect the co-ordination of national, regional and local planning requirements. Observations are advisory and generally issue on discretionary or more minor matters.

Planning Regulator, Niall Cussen added:

“County development plans are hugely important documents. These plans set out a vision for the future development of local areas. They decide how the provision of the homes we need will be co-ordinated with wider employment opportunities, retail activity and community facilities.

By also properly co-ordinating national, regional and local considerations in making its development plan, the members of Carlow County Council have taken important steps to help ensure that Carlow’s towns, villages and wider rural communities develop sustainably and are vibrant places to live and work.

I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to both the executive staff and the members of Carlow County Council for their engagement and hard work over long hours in preparing their development plan and at a demanding time, which included work through the pandemic.”


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