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Community Development

Wicklow LECP 2016 - 2022

The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides a stronger role for local government in community development. One of the key provisions of the Act is the formulation by every local authority of a Local Economic and Community Plan. The LECP is a six-year plan containing the measures necessary to promote and support community and economic development in County Wicklow. The Community element of the plan seeks to ensure that the plan can be implemented in a collaborative manner with relevant existing and future community framework documents, to harness maximum synergy across the community planning framework for the County. The LECP is required to complement the County Development Plan which sets the spatial planning framework for the County. The LECP must be consistent with the broad spatial planning, settlement and land use policies of the development plan.

Community Development and Land Use Planning

The County Development Plan plays the following roles in delivering the goals of the LECP:

  • Facilitating the delivery of community infrastructure;
  • Facilitating improved physical access to community infrastructure and services;
  • Facilitating the maintenance, restoration and upgrading of cultural and natural heritage of communities, environmental upgrading and general actions to enhance the environmental, amenity and physical attributes of communities.

The current plan includes a list of social and community facilities that are considered necessary in settlements, according to their population range.

Sustainable Communities

The provision of social infrastructure in the form of buildings, facilities, clubs and the means of accessing and using services, is necessary for the development of sustainable communities. A wide variety of facilities are required including:

  • Education – Primary, Secondary, Third Level, Training Centres;
  • Care Facilities – health care services, nursing homes, childcare, special needs care;
  • Leisure and recreation – community / youth centres, indoor halls, dancing studios, playgrounds, playing pitches and courts;
  • Cultural – arts centres, theatres, libraries, burial grounds and places of worship.

The County’s population aged 65 and over is increasing (accounting for 11% in 2011 and 13% in 2016). The Government’s recent publication ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’ recognises the need to plan for an ageing population particularly in terms of housing and health care.

Open Space/Recreation

The delivery of new sports and other outdoor community facilities and spaces is dependent on adequate ‘open space’ being reserved and developed. Open space includes active open space, passive open space, private open space and public open space for new residential development. It is important that the development of public open spaces and recreational facilities such as sports pitches and children’s play areas are provided at the most suitable locations to support the development of sustainable communities. The current development plan requires that active open space shall be provided at a rate of 2.4ha per 1,000 population. This is divided into:

  • 1.6ha outdoor recreation space (pitches, courts, sports grounds)
  • 0.6ha casual play space (parks)
  • 0.2ha equipped play space (playgrounds and MUGAs)

What do you think?

  • Are there adequate community facilities in your area? If not, what additional facilities are needed?
  • Are there adequate facilities in the County to cater for an ageing population particularly in terms of residential and day care facilities?
  • Are the educational needs of our population being met? What additional facilities are needed and where?
  • Where do you think new open space facilities should be provided?
  • Are the open space requirements set out in the current Development Plan adequate for new development?
  • What methodology should be used to deliver active open space and recreational facilities?