Kildare County Council has hit back at a claim that its rural planning system is “out of control” by stating that there are over 20,000 one-off dwellings in Kildare representing an almost 100% increase in the last 20 years.
The claim was made by Ceann Comhairle and Kildare South Fianna Fáil representative Sean Ó Fearghaíl last week.
The Ceann Comhairle stated that securing permission for a one-off house in County Kildare has always been a challenge, but over the past year or so the situation has become intolerable for rural families living for generations in Kildare.
He said those impacted are the sons and daughters of long-term rural residents, many of whom have lived in rural Kildare over generations.
He also stated that, in his view, the “extreme bias towards rural applicants” has continued in County Kildare.
In response, Kildare County Council has said that the population of rural County Kildare has increased significantly over the past decade and the rate of population growth in the rural areas (+5.9%) outstripped the rate of growth in urban areas (+5.7%) in the five year period between 2011 and 2016.
“In fact there are over 20,000 one-off dwellings in Kildare representing almost 100% increase in the last 20 years. 1998 showed 10,650 dwellings.”
It outlined that, with each individual dwelling application, a set of criteria must apply before permission can be granted by the council.
“In assessing applications for planning permission for individual dwellings in the open countryside, there are always a number of criteria which are specific to the particular application.
“These can include matters such as compliance with rural housing policy, traffic safety, groundwater protection, visual amenity, protection of hedgerows, flooding and protection of existing residential amenity, planning history, exacerbation of ribbon development, impact on third parties/ neighbouring properties.”
The council also stated that, in adjudicating on planning applications, Kildare County Council applies policies set out at national, regional and local level as appropriate and where an applicant or third party feels that this is not the case, appeals can be made to An Bord Pleanála to reassess the application.
“Figures show that in 2018 An Bord Pleanala confirmed 85% of all decisions of Kildare County Council and in the case of one-off rural housing 100% of applications refused were upheld by the Bord,” it stated.