Fianna Fail candidate, Shane Ellis is warning that warns that communities will be eroded by one-off housing rules
Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim, Shane Ellis, has said that rural communities will be completely eroded by strict one-off housing rules.
He explained, “If we do not have a thriving one-off housing market that allows people who were born and bred in a locality to live there, then communities will become eroded. Our social fabric, the connections we have to each other and to our communities are being threatened.
“Young couples will be forced from our communities to more urban areas where they are being faced with insufficient housing options. GAA clubs will find it hard to field a team. As we know, Post Offices are closing on a regular basis, and cafés, pubs and restaurants will follow suit. This is a reality of today and will only get worse.
“I am continually hearing from carpenters, labourers and other tradesmen who can’t get work in the county. As a result of the restrictions in one-off housing they haven’t had the same level of work as they once had, and because they are smaller self-employed businesses they are completely priced out of the bigger developments in the county.
“The restrictions and expense associated with percolation testing is only adding to the problem. In Leitrim, as a result of the soil types, estimated to account for 87% of our soils, the percolation tests fail to meet the EPA standards and the sites are deemed unsuitable.
“Planning permission can’t be granted, and the people are giving up on even applying for it because they know how restrictive the rules are. No other county is affected to the same extent as Co. Leitrim and I think this very rigid system needs to be looked at. A catch all approach does not work in this instance.
“We need solutions before the lights are turned out on Leitrim. There must be a clear right to allow local residents build one-off homes in the communities they have grown up in. Equally, homes must be allowed to be built on the outskirts of villages and small towns, and used as a way of attracting new people to live in rural communities
“We must ensure that communities are fostered. In order for that to happen we need to make provision for the development of one-off housing so that people who are from a community can live there,” he concluded.