Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

1st February 2018

Breathnach calls for a relaxation of the “locals only” planning laws

– If we continue to put obstacles in the way of people who want to build in rural Ireland, we face the death of rural communities schools and rural living –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach raised a topical issue debate in the Dáil this week regarding the need for a relaxation of the “locals only” planning laws to allow people born and raised in an area and wishing to build a one-off house in that area permission to do.

“The current rules introduced in 2005 contravene an EU ruling of last year and breach articles of the EU treaty which guarantee the free movement of capital and of people.

“I know that the matter of rural one-off houses has been the singular issue that has preoccupied councillors, planners and officials at local government level. In raising this issue I want to make it clear that I am not a supporter of bungalow blitz and I understand the concerns of environmentalists in relation to the proliferation of septic tanks and the dangers to the water courses and sources and the need for legislation framing county development plans. However, if we continue to put obstacles in the way of people who want to build in rural Ireland, we face the death of rural communities, schools and rural living.”

“Following the EU Ruling the Minister said he would revise the 2005 guidelines speedily. There is a working group which was established in 2017 to produce a report in this matter and I asked the Minister when we are likely to see the recommendations and changes required and I asked for a timeframe. We need speedy action on this issue which is of major concern not only in my county but also across the country.”

-Ends-

Note to Editor: Full transcript of Dáil Debate attached including Minister’s response.
Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie