Fine Gael’s ambitious plans for rural Ireland will give families and individuals wishing to live in smaller towns and villages the opportunity to build their own homes, Fine Gael candidate for Kildare South and Chairman of the party Martin Heydon said today.

Martin Heydon said:

“Fine Gael is committed to rural Ireland and growing the population of our smaller towns and villages. Our plan will provide a real alternative for people hoping to build a home and raise a family in rural Ireland, or for those looking to downsize to a smaller property.

“Under the Rural Serviced Sites scheme, local authorities will sell sites at cost price to people wishing to build their own home. Sites will be serviced with water and electricity, helping to reduce the cost of building a home. Our scheme will encourage families and individuals to live close to schools, shops, pubs, sports clubs and local amenities, improving quality of life and helping local businesses.

“Fine Gael in Government created the Department of Rural and Community Development, we have started rolling out high speed broadband and we put in place a €1bn rural fund. But, we know it’s not enough. Our rural serviced sites scheme will help keep people in rural Ireland and rejuvenate our smaller towns and villages.”

The Rural Serviced Sites scheme is aimed at the more than 700 towns and villages with populations of less than 2,000 people, and will help deliver the ambition set out in Project Ireland 2040 to boost population growth outside our main cities. It will expand on the Cluster Housing scheme developed by Tipperary County Council.

“Fine Gael is committed to providing opportunities for everyone living in rural Ireland, and helping smaller towns and villages thrive. This innovative scheme will offer hundreds of families the opportunity to join existing communities and help grow them into the future. It will also bolster the case for retaining and boosting community services including post offices, shops, sports clubs, health centres and provision of public transport,” Martin Heydon added.


Notes to Editors:

The scheme will be self-financing. Local authorities will be given seed capital to service sites, with the funding recycled back into the scheme as sites are sold. Sites will only be sold to owner occupiers.

Sites in public ownership will be identified by local authorities, and expressions of interest will be sought from members of the public.

Potential number of towns/villages in each county

Carlow 13
Cavan 14
Clare 33
Cork 92
Donegal 56
Dublin 8
Galway 37
Kerry 32
Kildare 30
Kilkenny 23
Laois 18
Leitrim 13
Limerick 40
Longford 9
Louth 17
Mayo 27
Meath 22
Monaghan 16
Offaly 23
Roscommon 20
Sligo 20
Tipperary 40
Waterford 20
Westmeath 17
Wexford 41
Wicklow 24