Thursday, 13 March 1975
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. 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: 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.
Mr. 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: A hallway of 120 square feet would be an enormous one. The  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. 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.
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