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"Locals only" for planning permission

Waterford County Council have a Planning policy based on “local housing need” meaning that if you life in a town and wanted to buy a new house in the countryside you can’t because your need is catered for within the town. This policy seems totally illegal. What is your view? John.

More and more Local Authority areas are adopting this policy. I live in County Wicklow who were one of the first Council areas to do this.

A Planning Authority in any County Council has an obligation to develop the County in accordance with good planning and development practice and this is laid down in the County Development Plan and written Planning policies.  What I am saying to you John is that this policy has to be written down somewhere and my advice to you is to go to the Council offices and have a look at it.   It may even be available on line but if the Council has not put  this out in an open and transparent way then any decisions may be illegal.

My guess is that they have correctly done it because they would be open to a wide range of law suits if they hadn’t.

From your question I see you want to build a new house in the countryside and you probably have already engaged an Architect.   When you do get your hands on the policy document have a word with the Architect and ask for a recommendation for a specialist Town Planner who will be able to look over the policy document and indicate whether or not they are failing in their obligations under the County development plan or any other legal requirement.   This may be your ammunition to take them to Court seeking judicial review over this.

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