No ban for rural one-off housing

The ROI rural housing guidelines for one-off houses still hasn’t been published but Minister of State Peter Burke said there would be no ban.

In this article we cover:

  • Latest update to the locals only rules in ROI
  • When we can expect changes to the rural planning guidelines
  • What some of the Department of Housing’s proposals are

The much anticipated ROI rural housing guidelines consultation document will include a right to build your own home in a remote area if you have a work or family reason to do so.

Minister of State for planning and local government Peter Burke told a Fine Gael Ard Fheis in November that there would be no ban on one-off housing.

The rural housing guidelines currently allow one-off housing but in certain areas there is a locals only condition.

This is under review following objections from Europe.

“The last guidelines on rural housing were issued in 2005, and there has been an absence of policy in the interim which has often meant housing authorities have been unsure ow to proceed through the development management process,” said the Minister of State.

The Department of Housing told Selfbuild the consultation document is to be published early this year: “We expect that the Draft Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines will be published for public consultation early this year,” a spokesperson said.

While the consultation document has not yet been published, Minister Burke gave some insights as to what it might contain: “the new guidelines clearly state that those who have a need to build their home in rural Ireland will be permitted to do so if they have a clear economic or social need.”

“An economic need could be those who work in rural Ireland, whether this be on a farm or in a rural-based enterprise. An example of a social need could be if a person or family comes from the area, or have been living there for the last 10 to 15 years.”

“The same safeguards will still be in place in terms of site suitability,” he added. “As every area is different geographically, planning authorities can show discretion in order to get the right balance” Some areas near town are likely to be harder to get planning for.

“While rural housing cannot be permitted in every area for every person, those who have a genuine need must be given the option to live where they come from, to continue to work on the land, develop rural Ireland and keep our towns and villages strong and vibrant places,” Minister Burke added.

“The planning authorities in each area will be updating their rural housing policies to take cognisance of these new guidelines once they are finalised. An Bord Pleanála too will take these guidelines into account with adjudicating on appeals.”

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Written by Myles McCAnn

Split level house in Co Fermanagh

One-off houses cheapest to build