Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Planning Control Exemptions.

Thursday, 13 March 1975

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 279 No. 4

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46.

Mr. Crinion: Information on Brendan Crinion  Zoom on Brendan Crinion  asked the Minister for Local Government if he will consider increasing the 120 square feet limit for extensions to houses under the planning regulations and exempting septic tanks in rural areas.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  When the Local Government (Planning and Development) Bill, 1973, becomes law it is my intention to carry out a comprehensive review of the exempted development regulations made under the 1963 Act. The size of house extension which is exempted from planning control and the position in regard to septic tank installations will be specially examined. In the meantime I have issued very definite guidelines to planning authorities in relation to flexibility in planning control. In particular I have advised them that, in my view, applications for minor extensions to existing developments and for septic tanks should be dealt with in a liberal way.

I might mention that the 120 square feet limit mentioned by the Deputy applies only to a single-storey extension; in the case of a two-storey extension, the limit is 90 square feet on each floor.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  In view of the campaign to conserve fuel and the fact that many people wish to erect hallways or draught-excluding arrangements to their houses, front or back, would the Minister, before the passing of the new Bill, cancel out the 120 square feet regulation?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  A hallway of 120 square feet would be an enormous one. The [608] Deputy knows that, as a rule, hallways are well under 60 square feet or 70 square feet. Anything up to 120 square feet is in order. That is not what is causing the trouble. What is causing the trouble is when somebody builds an extension at the rere of the house which might be 130 square feet or slightly over. Even if it is not quite in accordance with the regulations if local authorities used their discretion in regard to these matters it would save everybody a lot of trouble.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  The discretion is in the regulations. In other words, is the Minister telling the local authorities to break the regulations?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  If a local authority tells me that they are prepared to give an individual an exemption for a particular building I accept that. I found local authorities counting the width of the walls as part of the extension which to me is ridiculous.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  Why have people to ask for permission for this when, by a stroke of the pen, the Minister could increase the square footage?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  When the new Bill is passed I intend to do that.

Mr. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  Why not do it now?

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The Deputy, and his party, had 20 years to do this.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  The Minister should stand on his own actions.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Acting on my actions sometimes means walking on somebody else's corns and that is the trouble.

Mr. Colley: Information on George Colley  Zoom on George Colley  The Minister should not mind whose corns he stands on; he should stand on his own two feet.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  I am good at doing that and I can give proof of it also.


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