Dáil debates

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation

 

12:47 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy for raising this important issue. The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Deputy Darragh O'Brien, is currently preparing updated rural housing planning guidelines which will continue to allow for the development of homes in rural areas, while also highlighting the need to manage certain areas around cities and towns to avoid overdevelopment. He expects to receive an initial draft of the development guideline document in the coming weeks. There will then be a need for an environmental assessment, as well as internal and external consultation. It is expected that the final updated guidelines will be available later in 2021.

It is also worth noting that there has been strong delivery of new homes in rural areas in recent years, with planning permission granted for around 26,000 rural houses in the last five years. In the same period, nearly 93% of that number of rural homes were actually built, which is in sharp contrast to a lot of what is articulated about house building in rural Ireland. We only built 20,000 houses last year, and a significant number of those were in rural Ireland. That is not often said.

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