Planning Permission continued. Do you fit the criteria?

We recently did an overview article on Planning Permission in general and explained how it doesn’t have to be a minefield, provided you have an experienced professional on board.

To build your home on a green field site in a rural location, specific criteria needs to be considered prior to even discussing a house type. You need to fulfil the requirements of the Rural Settlement Policy.

Personal Housing Requirement:

(1) General: in this scenario, the dwelling will need to be used as a permanent place of residence;

(2) Secondary Special Amenity: the development potential is restricted to a son or daughter of a traditional landowner, or favoured nephew or niece, with the land having been in ownership for at least 10 years, while also been the place of the main family residence, OR the applicant has a genuine rural employment need OR the applicants family lived locally prior to January 1998 with the applicant been reared in the locality;

(3) Prime Special Amenity: this area is limited to farm family member engaged in agriculture or horticulture.

Site Selection:

Access onto Public Roads: any planning application that involves access on to public road or intensifying the usage of the existing access point will come under scrutiny.

Sight-lines: depending on the speed limit associated with the road that your site gains access to and from, then adequate sightlines will be required. It is measured 2.4m back from the edge of the road to the inside edge of the road. If the proper distance of sight cannot be achieved then some remedial measures might be required to your boundary and / or neighbours boundary. Written consent will be required from your neighbour to support your application.

Percolation: it is very much worthwhile accessing the site in this regards before outlaying costs on design work. It is basically a test to determine the hydraulic properties of the soil and the height of the water table. This will all determine the type of wastewater treatment system and percolation area that will suit your development.

Landscaping: on rural sites, landscaping is very important. The existing landscaping should be maintained as much as possible. This should be supplemented by the native species to the area. Generally this will consist of hedging, trees and screen planting mixes that will help to integrate the development into the landscape. House design will be influenced by existing landscaping and land contours/gradient.

All of the above need to be considered very early on in the planning application process. Every site and project is unique. For a consultation dealing purely with the issues associated with your site, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can rest assured that we have the qualifications, knowledge and experience to deal with your project.

Here is a little bit of extra on the Rural Housing Categories:

(A) Rural Generated Housing: a housing demand from within the rural community;

(B) Urban Generated Housing: is not rural generated and can be further separated into:

  • Rural areas under strong urban influence: generally these areas are adjacent to larger towns and local authority policy would be to protected these areas for existing families from the area;

  • Stronger rural area: these areas see an average amount of growth and are generally close by to a few villages providing services. The local authority will accommodate local people wishing to build a home;

  • Structurally weaker rural areas: these are areas that have proven population decline. It is important to maintain a population in these areas so as not to lose social links, therefore in-migration will be encouraged;

  • Areas with clustered settlement patterns.

The local authority will give positive consideration to renovations and restorations of existing structures for use as primary permanent residences.

About 2003, Cork County Council brought out their Rural House Design Guide. Since then nearly every other county council has followed suit. If you can demonstrate that you meet the criteria described above, then you can start developing the detail of your house design. We will go into this in depth in our next article.

In the meantime to discuss further, contact James on 087 8328945 or email

Featured Posts
Posts are coming soon
Stay tuned...
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square