As can be seen from the numerous empty shops which were dressed up to look like ‘real shops’ that are dotted all over the countryside’s towns and villages it is clear that many villages are struggling in terms of commerce.
It is understandable then why some homeowners would seek to obtain their ‘ticket’ by selling their space to developers and demolishing the once fine towns and villages of Northern Ireland to make a quick buck.
The question for me is why do the planning authorities allow this?
There is a growing trend of demolishing a mid-terrace house to fill the traditionally quite large gardens with pokey little town houses.
This compounds traffic issues, breaks up the fabric of a village and some of rustic charm is lost for ever.
Some villages (especially in Mid-Ulster for some reason) have been completely defaced by this practice and whatever tourist potential they may have once had has been lost.
Can the planning authorities not see that their strict hand is required to maintain the upkeep of our handsome villages which could in turn provide a foundation for a rural tourist plan some day?
There is a good reason why the popular villages of the Scottish Highlands reject such practices, perhaps we should do the same and maintain the look of our rural scape before it is lost forever?
Neale Weir, Curran, Co Lodonderry