Donegal County Council has criticised as anti-rural a report from An Taisce that found it had the worst planning record in the country.
An Taisce found that Donegal had the highest number of planning decisions overturned on appeal by An Bord Pleanála at over 50%.
Donegal was also said to have the second highest proportion of vacant housing at nearly 30% and more land zoned for housing that any of the four Dublin authorities.
The report from An Taisce also pointed out that despite having enough land zoned for 180,000 extra people, 50% of development permissions granted by Donegal County Council were on un-zoned land.
In a statement, the council said this “clearly does not acknowledge that these were largely applications for single/rural family dwelling, considered under the context of distinct rural housing policies and are not lands zoned in an urban context.”
It states that the criteria used in the league table drawn up by An Taisce appears “biased” against rural areas and denied that it ignored national planning policy.
It also states that 75% of Donegal’s population is rural and that the report had ignored the county’s unique geographic location and demography.