7.8.3 Rural Housing Policies

Closed22 Dec, 2020, 09:00 - 12 Mar, 2021, 17:00
​​​​​​7.8.3 Rural Housing Policies

The following policies have been devised in order to respond to the different housing requirements of urban and rural communities and the varying characteristics of rural areas. This is to ensure that first and foremost the housing requirements of persons with intrinsic links in rural areas are facilitated in all such areas, but that planning policies also respond to local circumstances whether these relate to areas experiencing economic and population decline or to areas under sustained pressure for development.

The following definitions and associated policies will be used:

Definition of Urban Area:  A city or town with a population of 1,500 or more at the time of the 2016 Census of Population (This definition is consistent with the CSO and the Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines).  For the purpose of this plan, these urban areas constitute Kilkenny City and Environs, the Waterford Metropolitan Area and the District towns of Callan, Castlecomer, Graiguenamanagh and Thomastown as well as New Ross and Carrick-on-Suir.

Urban Generated Housing: Housing need is considered to be Urban Generated where application is made in rural areas by persons originating from urban areas and includes applications for second homes.  The Council will endeavour to accommodate such non-rural generated housing within the development limits of all towns and villages subject to appropriate servicing arrangements. This approach has been adopted to strongly support strengthening the viability of our towns and villages and because of the long-term issues that arise from a proliferation of one-off houses, such as:

  • creation of demands for the subsequent provision of public infrastructure (i.e. roads and services);
  • over concentration of septic tanks in areas leading to potential ground water issues;
  • potential contamination of local water supplies and a reduction in water quality;
  • higher energy consumption and transportation costs arising from increased car-based commuting;
  • potential erosion of landscape character, and depletion of high-quality landscapes; and harmful effects on the tourism sector,
  • loss of agricultural land
  • loss of investment in small towns and rural settlements, leading to dereliction and vacancy;

Subject to satisfying good practice in relation to site location and access, drainage and design requirements, rural generated housing need should be facilitated as close as possible to its origin to ensure that strong local ties are maintained and that the applicant remains an intrinsic part of the local community.

Rural Generated Housing: Housing needed in rural areas within the established rural community by persons from that community or whose occupation is intrinsically linked with that particular rural area as defined in Section 7.8.4 Categories of Rural Compliance below.  

Ribbon Development: is defined as where there are 5 or more houses exist[1] on any one side of a given 250 metres of road frontage.  If four houses exist on any one side of a given 250 metres of road frontage, it is likely that ribbon development may be created with an additional house. 

Ribbon Development is discouraged for a variety of reasons, including road safety, future demand for the provision of public infrastructure and visual impact. The Planning Authority will have discretion to allow well-spaced infill ribboning to complete a particular settlement pattern only, but not where it will lead to further gap infill sites or the coalescence of separate ribbons of development or, in combination with other ribbons, lead to the over proliferation of houses resulting in overdevelopment creating ribbon development, wastewater disposal difficulties, traffic or other serious planning issues in the immediate area.

Local Area: Local area is defined as within approximately a radius of 10km from the site, excluding defined urban areas. Where the site is of a greater distance but the applicant can demonstrate significant ties with the area for example immediate family or well-established landownership then these applications will be considered on their merits. 


[1] Sustainable Rural housing- Guidelines for Planning Authorities (Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government) April 2005