Minister "slamming another door closed" on planning

REVELATIONS that the contentious EPA Guidelines must be applied to all planning duration extension applications have left councillors reeling . At Monday's Council meeting it emerged an all applications had to have a T test result and with 90% of the county affected by soils which all but guarantee a T test fail, it became clear that even more families will find themselves unable to build in Co Leitrim.

REVELATIONS that the contentious EPA Guidelines must be applied to all planning duration extension applications have left councillors reeling . At Monday's Council meeting it emerged an all applications had to have a T test result and with 90% of the county affected by soils which all but guarantee a T test fail, it became clear that even more families will find themselves unable to build in Co Leitrim.

The news came after Councillors Tony Ferguson and Enda McGloin both put forward motions seeking clarification on the extension legislation.

Noting the growing number of refusals for an extension of planning duration, the councillors said it appeared that other local authorities may be using a more relaxed interpretation of requirements under the new legislation than Leitrim County Council.

However in his response, Director of Services, Planning Community and Economic Development, Joe Gilhooley, was at pains to stress that applications for extension of duration of permission, where either no or little construction had been carried out must meet all the requirements put forward in the legislation.

Not only does this mean T tests for applications without a result on file, it also means that applicants must state why they haven't progressed with construction and they must show that their application doesn't conflict with the County Development Plan or Regional Planning Guidelines as they now stand, regardless of what they plans allowed when permission was originally sought. This means that if there is already an adequate supply of housing stock in the are, planning could be refused for a one-off house.

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