In a move that has ignited a heated debate across rural Ireland, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has released new guidelines urging local planning authorities to promote alternatives to one-off rural housing.

The guidelines, aimed at fostering sustainable development and compact settlements, have been met with fierce opposition, particularly from Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The guidelines suggest prioritising housing developments at the edges of rural towns and villages, connected to existing walking and cycling networks, as a preferable alternative to isolated countryside homes.

However, Deputy Fitzmaurice has slammed the government’s recommendations as an “assault on rural Ireland,” arguing that such policies could herald the end of traditional rural communities.

He has been giving more details to Midwest Radio's Michael D. McAndrew....

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