A draft discussion document used in the negotiations to form Ireland’s new Government has outlined proposed planning reforms that aim to revitalize social and economic life in towns nationwide.
According to the Draft Partnership For Government May 2016, the new Government plans to attract people back into town centres by examining incentives to regenerate derelict and underused buildings.
To achieve this, it will seek Oireachtas support for a new Town and Village Renewal Scheme to increase the attractiveness of towns and villages as places to live and work.
In the draft, the new Government says it will also instruct county councils to publish the breakdown of how commercial rates collected under their remit are spent, which it says will facilitate comparisons across different local authorities.
It adds that this provision 'will encourage efficient local authorities to adopt commercial rates policies that help sustain existing businesses and encourage new start-ups'.
The document also confirms the new Government's plans to enact the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, and restates its plans to make Ireland tobacco-free by 2025, which it defines as having less than 5% of the population smoking.
It also says that with the development of the agriculture and food sector so fundamental to the future direction of the country, the priority for agriculture must be to reward farmers for producing quality food.
According to the document, the new Government will continue to support the Foodwise 2025 initiative, which aims to increase the value of food exports by 85% to €1.9 billion, and increase the value of primary production by 65% to €10 billion by 2025.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.