Senator Garret Ahearn continued: “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 Tipperary 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 including our own in Tipperary look for a social or economic reason to grant permission, such as working in rural areas or family ties here.
Tipperary 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.
“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 in Tipperary
“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 in Tipperary, while highlighting the need to manage certain areas around cities and towns in order to avoid over-development in those areas.
“Minister Burke expects to receive these guidelines shortly, with a draft going out to public consultation later this year. I would urge people in Tipperary to make their views and known in order to inform an integral part of our housing policy.”