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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Council passes motion to allow families to build log cabins in back garden

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Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Dublin City Council has passed a motion to allow families to build log cabins in their back gardens as a way of tackling the housing crisis.

The proposal by People-Before-Profit councillor John Lyons received unanimous support from elected members at today’s Planning and Property Development meeting.

Currently, any structure above 25 square metres needs planning permission and the council can order a cabin to be removed if it is built without proper permission. 

However, Cllr Lyons wants these planning laws to be reviewed so that families could provide accommodation for relatives facing high rents or homelessness.

“Currently, you can apply for planning permission for an extension or granny flat, but they must have direct access to the rest of the house. 

“My motion wants to include freestanding structures that don't have to be attached to the main dwelling. 

“It will be for family members only, which will preclude any potential for exploitation on a commercial basis. I just want to give more certainty to families who want to go down this route," he said.

DCC’s Chief Executive Owen Keegan will now write a report on this issue and will put his recommendations to the Dublin city's council chamber early next year. 

“I hope that by February, we can secure at least three-quarters of the council’s support so we can move this forward,” added Cllr Lyons. 

However, his proposal isn’t being backed by the Simon Community.

Earlier this year, midlands chairperson for the charity Mark Cooney said that such an idea is unworkable and wouldn’t solve the housing crisis. 

"I can't see how it would in any way ease the housing crisis," Mr Cooney told Midlands 103.

"People ending up in these [log cabins] may be taken off the housing list because if they're considered proper homes and in my view it's unworkable," he said.

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