7.8.4 Categories of Rural Compliance and Qualifying Criteria

Dúnta22 Nol, 2020, 09:00 - 12 Már, 2021, 17:00
​​​​​​7.8.4 Categories of Rural Compliance and Qualifying criteria:

In line with the NPF, National Policy Objective 19 requires a clear distinction to be made between areas under urban influence and elsewhere in providing for the development of rural housing.

County Kilkenny can be divided into two broad categories as follows:

  1. Areas under Urban Influence
  2. Other rural areas

Qualifying Criteria for Rural Housing:

Areas under urban influence

  • Areas classified as under Urban Influence are located close to the immediate environs or commuting catchment of cities and towns or to major transport corridors with ready access to urban areas. They are characterised by
  • High levels of commuting patterns to urban areas
  • Areas with high population growth in the County
  • Ready access to a good road network with ready access to the larger urban areas.

It is the Council’s objective for areas of urban influence to facilitate the rural generated housing requirements of the local rural community (as identified in this section) while on the other hand directing urban (non-rural) generated housing to areas zoned and identified for new housing development in the city, or towns and villages.

Areas under urban influence display the greatest pressures for development due to the commuter dependence of these areas on urban areas for reasons of employment and other social and economic functions[1].

In areas under urban influence the Council will permit (subject to other planning criteria) single houses for persons where the following stipulations are met:

  1. Persons with a demonstrable economic need to live in the particular local rural area, being people who are for example:
    1. employed full-time in rural-based activity such as farming, horticulture, forestry, bloodstock or other rural-based activity in the area in which they wish to build or whose employment is intrinsically linked to the rural area in which they wish to build, such as teachers in rural schools or other persons who by the nature of their work have a functional need to reside permanently in the rural area close to their place of work, provided that they have never owned a house in a rural area.
  2. Persons with a demonstrable social need to live a particular local rural area,
    1. Persons who have lived a substantial period of their lives in the local rural area (minimum 5 years), who have never owned a rural house and who wish to build their first home close to the original family home.
    2. Returning emigrants who do not own a house in the local area and wishes to build their first permanent home for their own use in a local rural area in which they lived for a substantial period of their lives (5 years), then moved away or abroad and who now wish to return to reside near other family members.

All applicants for one-off rural housing will need to demonstrate compliance with the qualifying criteria of one of the above categories unless otherwise specified as being located within an area where the Rural Housing Policy does not apply.

The Planning Authority shall have regard to the viability of smaller towns and rural settlements in the implementation of the policy.

Occupancy Condition

All permission granted for rural housing within the Areas of Urban Influence shall be subject to an occupancy condition restricting the use of the dwelling to the applicant or members of his/her immediate family as a place of permanent residence for a period of seven years from the date of first occupancy.

Sterilisation Agreements

In areas where significant levels of rural housing development have taken place on the edges of urban areas within the county and where the Council considers such areas are becoming over developed the council may seek agreement under Section 47 of the Planning Act (sterilisation agreement) if it considers it necessary to regulate development in the area.

Other Rural Areas

Areas classified as other rural areas comprise those areas not identified as under urban influence, where housing restrictions do not apply in the rural countryside subject to siting and design criteria as contained in statutory guidelines and plans, having regard to the viability of smaller towns and rural settlements.

In these areas it will be the policy of the Council to accommodate proposals for individual rural or urban generated permanent residential development subject to meeting normal planning and environmental criteria.

In all cases the consideration of individual sites will be subject to normal siting and design considerations, which will include but not necessarily be limited to the following:

  • Any proposed vehicular access would not endanger public safety by giving rise to a traffic hazard,
  • That any proposed on-site waste water disposal system is designed, located and maintained in a way which protects water quality,
  • That the siting and design of new dwellings takes account of and integrates appropriately with its physical surroundings and other aspects of the natural and cultural heritage and,
  • That the proposed site otherwise accords with the objectives of the development plan in general.

In both areas under Urban Influence and Other Rural Areas the Planning Authority shall have regard to the viability of smaller towns and rural settlements in the implementation of the rural housing policy.


[1] Fig 7.1 Rural Housing Strategy reflects this position.

Clár ábhair