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Housing; Local Government and Heritage | Wooden and Chalet-type housing requirements

To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if planning requirements will facilitate the building of wooden or chalet-type houses in specified areas on a temporary basis to alleviate the housing shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), all development, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission.  Exemptions from the requirement to obtain planning permission in respect of specific forms of development are provided for, when they are considered to be consistent with proper planning and sustainable development. These exemptions provided for in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (the Regulations) are kept under regular review.

Class 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations provides for an exemption in respect of the construction, erection or placing within the curtilage of a house of any tent, awning, shade or other object, greenhouse, garage, store, shed or other similar structure. This exemption is subject to conditions and limitations as set out in the Regulations, including that the structure shall not be used for human habitation or for any other purpose other than a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house as such. The use of such structures for the purpose of human habitation would be subject to planning permission under Section 34 of the Act.

Under Class 1 of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations, an exemption provides for the temporary use of any land for the placing of any tent, campervan or caravan or for the mooring of any boat, barge or other vessel used for the purpose of camping.  This exemption is subject to a time limit of a period of not greater than ten days.  Where any person wishes to place a mobile home on land for a period of greater than 10 days, planning permission is required in accordance with section 34 of the Act.

In accordance with Section 34 of the Act a Planning Authority shall make its decision on a planning application within 8 weeks, except in cases where further information under article 33 of the regulations is sought from the Applicant.

If a person wishes to establish whether or not planning permission is required for a particular development proposal, they can seek a declaration from their local planning authority under Section 5 of the Act.
Under planning legislation, enforcement of planning control is a matter for the planning authority concerned which can take action if a development does not have the required permission or where the terms of a permission have not been respected.  Under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, the Minister is specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case in which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned, except in very specific circumstances, which do not apply in this case.

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