The headquarters of Mayo County Council.

Councillors sign off on draft Mayo county development plan

COUNCILLORS in Mayo have signed off on a new draft county development plan.

Final amendments were made to the plan at a special meeting before it is submitted for departmental approval.

Elected members took a stand on rural development along roads approaching national routes.

They unanimously opposed a controversial proposal to exclude residential development on all roads across the county that lead to a national primary or secondary route.

Agencies including the Irish Planning Institute, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the North Western Regional Authority and the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) had insisted the proposed ban, based ultimately on safety grounds, is in the interest of proper rural development.

Also under the new plan, the Western Rail Corridor is protected. Any feasibility study for a greenway is to be done on ground other than the old railway line.

Numerous meetings have been held and hundreds of public submissions received by Mayo County Council in the process of drawing up the plan.

Some late adjustments were made to proposed zonings, one being in Killala in respect of lands that had a flood risk being omitted.

Two other reductions were made in Claremorris where land is not serviced. It was noted how in Claremorris some zoned land has been given back to agricultural use.

Councillor Peter Flynn flagged that the Claremorris lands could be a potential issue with the OPR and if they came in, everything is back on the table, he had warned.

Chief executive Kevin Kelly said it was a very positive plan, pro development, and the approach to implementing it would be pro development.

Attention will now turn to developing a renewable strategy for the county and local area plans for Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.