Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Under the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Rural Housing 2005, issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, planning authorities are required to frame the planning policies in their development plans in a balanced and measured way that ensures the housing needs of rural communities are met, while avoiding excessive urban-generated housing. The Guidelines are available on the Government’s website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/publication/23809-sustainable-rural-housing-development-guidelines/.
Since 2018, the National Planning Framework (NPF) is the national planning policy document providing overall strategic policy for the future development of Ireland through specific National Policy Objectives (NPOs) that aim to support the overall rural and small town pattern of development in Ireland and deliver strengthened and diversified rural communities. National Planning Objective (NPO) 19 aims to ensure that a policy distinction is made between areas experiencing significant ‘overspill’ development pressure from urban areas within the commuter catchment of cities, towns and centres of employment, on the one hand, and remoter rural areas where population levels may be low and or declining, on the other.
NPO 19 is aligned with the established planning approach whereby considerations of social (intrinsic part of the community) or economic (persons working full or part-time) need may be applied by planning authorities in certain rural areas under urban influence in order to prevent urban sprawl.
Updated Rural Housing Planning Guidelines are currently being prepared by my Department to ensure consistency with new requirements and legislation at national and EU level introduced in respect of areas related to rural housing such as environmental protection, the Gaeltacht and climate action. The new guidelines will ensure a more consistent approach between counties and alignment with NPF objectives, and will be published in draft before the end of 2021.