Members of the public were urged to familiarise themselves with the planing guidelines and content of the local area plan for Rathdrum at a questions and answers discussion in Rathdrum, County Wicklow.
Talking about issues of planning, Paddy Hooper, a senior planner for Wicklow County council, pointed out that there were very strict guidelines they were forced to adhere to as part of the Greater Dublin area, adding that the best planning is carried out by consulting with the local community.
Its very important that people read the local area plan to understand local planning. People also need to realise that they are open to making submissions and an objection if required.'
He also refuted claims that there was too much secrecy involved in planning applications and matters.
Its obligatory for anyone going for planning to advertise it in the paper. Its not fair to say there is too much secrecy in developments. The files are all based in the county buildings as well if anyone has any queries.'
The plan for a one way system on Rathdrum's main street included in the new local area plan has also caused some conflict, but received the unwavering support of all the elected members of the council and Dil present.
They insist it has to go ahead for the benefit of the town. One particular benefit would be to free the main street of the large number of cars parked there on a daily basis, causing considerable difficulties for other motorists to actually navigate the street.
Cllr. Pat Casey didn't pull any punches when describing Rathdrum as a stagnant town for the last number of years, and laying the blame squarely at the feet of one individual consistently holding up the whole sewerage treatment plant.
He also called on the county council to hold up any further residential development in Rathdrum until an integrated community centre and facility is in place.
Mr. Hooper backed such a proposal.
There is a comfortable profit in residential development now that can be put forward into community facilities,' added the council planner.