As climate change and Net Zero become an increasingly important factor in how we live, better planning is crucial to building better, according to Fine Gael TD, Richard Bruton.
“There is no getting away from the fact that we are in a global climate crisis. As a country, we have commitments and it is going to mean change for all of us” according to the Dublin Bay North TD.
Speaking to JustLocal, Mr. Bruton also noted that while the post Covid housing starts are back to pre-Covid levels, at over 30,000 units per annum, the need to build new homes was not going away. “But new housing also requires new infrastructure and in areas such as Baldoyle and Howth, where significant development is under way, the emphasis must be to ensure that infrastructure is expanded proportionately to meet the increased demand placed on resources.”
While expressing caution for Irish Rail’s DART+ Coastal proposal, he also applauded it as a drive to expand the DART infrastructure to service a wider community all the way to Drogheda, but Richard Bruton stressed that ongoing vigilance must be the watchword for residents of Howth, Sutton, Baldoyle and Bayside.
“The submission date regarding the DART+ Coastal proposals to Irish Rail closes today and I am sure that these submissions made be locals will help Irish Rail’s plans. But regardless of that, I would urge locals to make their views known, not only to Irish Rail but to their local representatives too, as this is going to require constant vigilance to get the right balance.”
Neither an apologist nor an advocate for change, Mr Bruton was quick to point to its inevitability and expressed a need for a re-think on the planning process for solar and wind energy proposals, so that a more expeditious means can see projects move from plans on paper, to installations in operation. “We have to face the fact that the climate challenge is a real crisis, hard decisions will have to be made, but equally it behoves us as a community to engage at local level, so we can shape it to our advantage as much as possible”.
First elected in 1982, 40 years since arriving in Dail Eireann and Richard Bruton’s appetite for local politics seems undiminished. And when queried that his Leinster House remit was more a national role than a local one, his parting shot was, that all politics is local.
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