17 February 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Strong opposition from Fine Gael councillor Hugh McElvaney to a proposal to designate a 3km area around Clones Town as being of “strong urban influence” from a planning perspective was not echoed by his fellow elected members or the executive of Monaghan Co Council when he expressed it at the Council’s February meeting.
Colr McElvaney was of the view that the plan would result in the effective sterilisation of land around Clones and would be an impediment to future development there, but his proposal that this measure be excluded from a Core Strategy document before the meeting for adoption failed to receive a seconder.
Senior Executive Planner Toirleach Gourley said that it was key that steps were taken to reverse the significant population decline that the town of Clones was suffering, and pointed out that a future variation of the Co Development Plan could be made if the 3km zone strategy – an attempt to restrict an outflux of population from the central town area to the periphery of Clones – was found not to be proving effective.
Referring to the designation of a 3km area around Clones as being under strong urban influence, Sinn Féin’s Pat Treanor asked if it would be possible to inform those in the relevant area who had got planning permission for one-off housing but had not yet developed of the proposed changes.
He thought this would enable the people in question to do something about the planning permissions before the new rules came in, because if they came to renew their permissions they would find that new conditions would apply.
Director of Services for Planning Paul Clifford said the Council could put an advertisement in the local newspaper to notify people, but they would not be able to write to people on an individual basis.
“This is all baloney,” was Colr McElvaney’s view of the Core Strategy document, on the basis that it could be overshadowed by decisions made by the Dept of the Environment. In the last Co Development Plan the councillors had included …

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