4 Rural Development
The National Planning Framework has the objective to protect and promote the sense of place, culture and the quality of the Irish rural landscape which makes it an attractive place to live, work and visit.
Agriculture, including the milk and beef production, tillage, horticulture, equine and forestry sectors remains the economic backbone of the rural areas of County Kilkenny. The protection of land for agricultural production, combined with sustainable farming practices will ensure continued food security and rural prosperity. With changing technology in agriculture it is however envisaged that changes such as mechanisation will continue to increase productivity whilst the supply of full time labour from rural areas will need to also be accommodated in other economic sectors prevalent in the larger towns and the City.
- Rural Settlement
County Kilkenny is a predominantly rural county with a broad range of rural settlement patterns, ranging from urban type estates in rural towns and small villages to one off housing in the countryside.
The National Planning Framework has the objective to base the need for rural housing on a demonstrable economic or social need to live in a rural area, which together with siting and design criteria for rural housing will have regard to the viability of smaller towns and rural settlements. The National Planning Framework also has the objective to activate the potential for the renewal and development of such rural towns and settlements. The Development Plan will aim to support a sustainable rural settlement pattern whilst having due regard to the protection of the needs of rural families and the rural environment.
- Extractive industries
The extractive industry plays an important role in providing materials to the construction, industrial and energy sectors. The extractive industry furthermore provides rural employment and as such is inextricably interwoven into the rural fabric, including its landscape and rural economy. The industry can however have serious impacts on the rural landscape and amenities generally, including water pollution, dust, vibration, traffic generation and visual scarring of the landscape. It is therefore important to ensure that the extractive industry is appropriately located, managed and regulated so as to protect the rural landscape, character and environment from the potential impacts of the industry.