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Log cabins could provide an option as an affordable home, according to Cllr Frank Staples.

Log cabins could provide an option as an affordable home, according to Cllr Frank Staples.

Cabin

Cabin

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Log cabins could provide an option as an affordable home, according to Cllr Frank Staples.

wexfordpeople

Log cabins should be viewed as a way for people to provide an affordable home for themselves and their families at a time of high rents and rising house prices, according to Fine Gael councillor Frank Staples.

In two amendments outlined on his behalf by Cllr Oliver Walsh, Cllr Staples said pre-fabricated timber homes are cheaper to develop than concrete houses and offer a more affordable option for many people.

He asked that such developments be assessed on a case-by-case basis as one-off rural housing to be occupied as a permanent residence with such dwellings deemed to have fulfilled the applicant’s housing need and therefore they would be regarded as having previously owned a rural home.

The Council would later consider the replacement of the structure with a house of more permanent construction on the same site, subject to planning compliance.

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Units would be simple in form and design and not have the characteristics of alpine dwellings. Where a timber finish is proposed, the tree planting must be at a density that would provide a woodland setting.

In general, the council would not consider a log cabin in the back garden of an existing dwelling in a town or village setting but it must be located on an independent site.

In response, senior executive planner Diarmuid Houston stressed that these were temporary housing solutions with a limited lifespan of about 60 years. The Council would be happy enough to see the policy adopted but they would have to keep a close eye on it and “if it really started to get out of hand, I would come back to you and say, this is not working”.

“Just be aware that this is a very short-term solution to a problem. Maybe it’s a temporary solution that would work for a number of years.”

He said a family could have a house for €60,000 to €70,000, with somewhere to live of a decent standard, but there was a time limit involved as timber homes don’t last as long as a traditional house and that is what planners would be advising people when they made enquiries.

Cllr Michael Whelan said it could be a way for people to get on the property ladder but is the Council going to turn around down the line and say, you already owned a house.

Mr Houston said if a subsequent planning application for a permanent residence was on the same site it wouldn’t be an issue.


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