Arguably on of the most important of the democratic deficits left unmanaged by the loss of the Assembly in October 2005 is planning law. The Department of Regional Development has put the cat amongst the pigeons with its Draft Policy Statement 14: Sustainable Development in the Countryside. It’s not going to be popular with rural dwellers, as there has been a tradition of families building on agricultural land. However the plan is being pitched as an opportunity to circumvent bungalow blight, and the attendant environmental impacts. However unpopular, there is undoubtedly a need for government to draw clear lines in planning if it’s not drop into some of the chaos there has been in the Republic.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty