New rural housing guidelines which include the right to build your own home in rural Ireland if people have a work or family reason to do so have been welcomed by Cork North West TD and former Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
The new guidelines, which were announced on Friday by Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke, were described by his Fine Gael colleague as ‘another important measure in Fine Gael’s campaign to ensure that more people have homes of their own, and also to build stronger communities particularly in rural areas’.
“Securing planning permission to build a house in rural Ireland has been very challenging in the past. I hope that the new guidelines will balance environmental and social concerns so that more people get the chance to live where they come from.”
"The new guidelines are set to go out for public consultation before Christmas, and Cork County Council along with all the other local authorities will be updating their rural housing policy in accordance with the guidelines as soon as they are finalised,” he said.
Speaking ahead of the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Westmeath on Friday evening, Minister Peter Burke said:
“There has been much commentary of late about the banning of rural one-off housing and since my appointment,
"I have been determined to put in place new guidelines which clarify that there will be absolutely no such ban.
"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 how to proceed through the development management process,” Minister Burke said.
“As every area is different geographically, planning authorities can show discretion in order to get the right balance.
"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,” he said.
“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 when adjudicating on appeals,” Minister Burke said.