Building red tape to hit farmers' pocket
Farmers face another blizzard of statutory red tape under new building control regulations circulated by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan in the Dáil last week.
The amended controls, which the minister says are necessary to bring building regulation up to speed in the wake of the 'pyrite' scandal in Dublin, came into operation on the first of this month.
However, the control, though primarily aimed at rogue builders of urban housing estates, will apply throughout the rural construction sector and will cover most types of agricultural buildings.
New farm buildings over one storey high or over 300 sq metres in area, extensions to existing farms buildings, and buildings not used exclusively for plant, machinery or agricultural-related materials are affected by the new rules.
Similarly, new buildings not exclusively used for the housing, care or management of livestock come within the ambit of the new regulations.
The new rules will also apply to any new houses built on sites on farmland.
And in future farmers will find it extremely difficult to 'self build' and this measure will have implications for rural employment in the agri-construction sector, as will the requirement for building contractors and sub contractors to register under the regulations before any work can be commenced.