This is a significant issue nationally, it also requires a major policy response at regional and local authority level. The RSES aims to strengthen the Region’s urban and rural fabric by supporting vibrant towns and villages. Investment will be sought for infrastructure and refurbishment initiatives to support the economic, administrative and social functions of these settlements. A sustainable place framework will enable further renewal of our towns and villages through: • Development of a “New Homes in Small Towns and Villages” initiative across the Region; • Investment in town and village renewal initiatives that improve their capacity, services, environment and liveability to attract population and enterprise growth; • Coordination between local authorities, Irish Water and other stakeholders to deliver investment in the sustainable development of water and wastewater treatment services for rural towns and villages. Development plans should include appropriate guidance for new homes in small towns and villages and renewal initiatives to assist an evidence-based approach to identifying appropriate sites for housing, social and physical infrastructure, including water and wastewater infrastructure. Tipperary County Council’s Design and Best Practice Guidelines for Cluster Housing Schemes in Rural Villages is an example of good practice. The RSES recognises the important roles that towns and villages perform along the Region’s three tourism corridors – the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Hidden Heartlands – and aims to develop the infrastructure that sustainably services growth from tourism which also protects the distinct natural, cultural and historic heritage of these towns and villages. The objectives in the RSES for the Region’s urban and rural settlements and networks serve as a support for stakeholders in applying for funding under schemes including the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, Rural Regional Regeneration and Development Fund, Climate Action Fund, Disruptive Technologies Fund and other initiatives (see also Chapter 9, Section 9.3 Investment and Funding).
Towns and Villages It is an objective: a. To strongly support strengthening the viability of our towns and rural settlements, as a key objective of the RSES, including the protection of essential rural services such as post offices, shops, and medical facilities; b. To seek investment and initiatives that deliver smart technologies, revitalisation of mixed-use town and village centre streets, and pilot initiatives for regional good practice in renewal and re-use of buildings; c. To seek investment, the timely delivery and the sustainable delivery of holistic infrastructures in towns and villages to support their service role along the Region’s tourism corridors consistent with the settlement hierarchies as set out in relevant development plans; d. To ensure that development plans tailor the appropriate planning response by reference to the scale, nature and location of the settlement. Local authorities will identify settlements which can play an enhanced role at sub-regional level to drive the development of their area; e. To support the development of guidelines for cluster housing development within the existing footprint of our rural settlements; To support co-ordination between local authorities, Irish Water and other stakeholders to deliver investment in the sustainable development of water and wastewater and other infrastructure for towns and villages, prioritising retrofitting and improvement in the quality of existing services; g. To seek investment in the sustainable development of a “New Homes in Small Towns and Villages” initiative in the Regionand thedeliveryof actions by local authorities, Irish Water, communities and other stakeholders in the provision of services and serviced sites to create “build your own home” opportunities within the existing footprint of rural settlements. Local authorities should identify and prioritise the provision and implementation of serviced f. sites within towns and villages as an objective of development plans. These programmes shall ensure a sustainable and appropriate spread of development between towns and villages within their areas.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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