Policy change success for Louth EU_SHAFE

17 February 2022

Louth EU_SHAFE is pleased to announce that it has successfully introduced a policy change in the Louth County Development Plan 2021-2027, which took effect on 11 November 2021.

The Louth County Development Plan 2021-2027 under the Planning and Development Act 2000, provides a framework for the growth and development of the County during its lifetime with an underlying and cross cutting theme promoting the creation of sustainable, healthy communities where people can access jobs, housing, and services, and enjoy a high quality of life. In December 2020, the Louth EU_SHAFE partner in conjunction with the Louth Age Friendly Alliance, and the Louth Older Peoples’ Forum made a submission to the review of the plan.

One of the main objectives of the submission was to increase the number of universally designed (UD) units throughout the county. We are delighted to announce that, following our submission, Policy Objective HOU29 has been changed to ensure that all new residential developments in excess of 20 units will now have to provide a minimum of 30% of universally designed units. Louth County Council is now leading the way in the provision of UD homes.

Also, in the housing domain we have been successful in promoting the use of covered balconies or “Winter Gardens” in apartments for older people enabling them to enjoy the feeling of outdoors all year round.

Another key area of our submission was to promote the use of age friendly language and again we are delighted to report that the general text of the plan has been updated to remove the word “elderly” and replace it with “older person/persons. The phrase “age friendly” or “regardless of age” have also been inserted to the text in relation to both improving the public spaces and meeting the housing needs of people in County Louth.

Overall, the proposal sought to support and advance the Age Friendly agenda in Louth and to create a county where people can live, work, visit and retire safely, knowing that the county provides for everyone, regardless of age. With these political changes we have taken one more step towards that reality.

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