For Written Answer on : 10/11/2022
Question Number(s): 235 Question Reference(s): 55955/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if has considered making legislative changes to allow certain holiday homes to be used as full-time residences; 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.
In some cases, when the initial planning permission for a holiday home is sought, planning authorities have additionally specified by way of planning condition (such as an occupancy clause) that such holiday homes cannot be used for permanent residential purposes. It is considered that a change of use of a holiday home to a place of permanent residence would be a material change of use requiring planning permission. The carrying out of a material change of use from holiday home to a place of permanent residence without obtaining planning permission could be considered unauthorised development and subject to enforcement proceedings by the relevant planning authority under planning legislation.
If the owner of a holiday home proposes that the premises be used as place of permanent residence, they may lodge a planning application to the relevant planning authority for a change of use from holiday home to residential use. It is a matter for the planning authority to decide such applications on a case by case basis. When considering an application for planning permission for residential development or change of use, the planning authority is required to consider the local housing needs requirements policy as set out in the authority’s Development Plan.
It should be noted that holiday homes are often located in more remote areas and/or may be on land which is specially zoned for such development in the Development Plan and/or Local Area Plan, e.g. a “resort” zoning, and which therefore may not be suitable for permanent residential development. Different design layouts and standards may also be applied to holiday homes than to permanent residential development and the planning authority’s policies on rural housing may also apply differently to holiday homes than to permanent residential development, all of which the planning authority would have to consider when making a decision on a change of use application. Consequently, a proposal to change a holiday home to permanent residential housing could be found to be contrary to the principles of proper planning and sustainable development of the area in question.
I have no plans to amend the existing provisions in this regard at this point in time.