28 August 2021
By Elaine Murphy
“Development of one-off housing will continue in Cork to revitalise our communities”
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard (who farms near Tracton, Carrigaline, Co Cork) has said there are no plans to ban the development of one-off housing.
Senator Lombard has been a Cork County Cllr, which included one term as County Mayor, and is now a Senator. He said “one-off housing plays a small but important role in accommodating our growing population in rural Cork and Government can give a firm commitment that are no plans in place to restrict this type of development.
“There has been much discussion recently on the issue of one off housing and rural planning and reports this type of development will be banned from next March, which is untrue as the Minister for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke TD has already stated. Fine Gael’s plan is to revitalise our rural communities.
“The Government acknowledge that there will always be demand for one off housing in Cork and there remains capacity within our National Planning Framework to allow for people who live and work in the countryside to build their homes close to their families and workplace.
“One off housing is a small aspect of the current national housing supply but there will always be demand for this development with a design and planning framework in place which is sustainable, well managed and well regulated.
“Around 85% of all one-off housing planning permissions are granted each year. Before permission Is granted, these houses are held to high environmental standards with percolation, effluent disposal, sight lines and house design all being taken into account.
“All local authorities look for a social or economic reason to grant permission, such as working in rural areas or family ties here.
“Cork County Council is an independent Planning Authority and all local authorities continue to adjudicate on planning matters in relation to new housing within their jurisdiction, in line with their statutory housing policy.”
Senator Lombard continued, “Government currently has a range of policies in place to ensure there is compact growth in rural Ireland and to breath new life into our towns and villages.
“Part of this work includes updating the Rural Housing Planning Guidelines which are currently being prepared and they will continue to allow for the development of homes in rural areas, while highlighting the need to manage certain areas around cities and towns in order to avoid over-development in those areas.
Public Consultation expected
Senator Lombard said his colleague Minister Burke expects to receive the guidelines shortly, with a draft going out to public consultation later this year. “I would urge people in Cork to make their views and known in order to inform an integral part of our housing policy.”