This section deals specifically with housing in rural areas. It explains when Supplementary Application Form Number 1 has to be completed as part of the application form. It also provides information on sightlines, waste water treatment and site selection and design amongst other things.
All applicants for a single house in rural areas are requested to state if the house is intended for their occupation.
What is the Supplementary Application Form No. 1?
All applicants for single houses in rural areas are requested to fill out Question 1 of the Supplementary Application Form no. 1. If the site is located within a designated area as set out in the 'Constraints Map' and / or if the site proposes access off a restricted regional route i.e. the (R420, R402, R400, R357, R436, R356, R438, R440, R421, R439) or any National Primary or National Secondary Route then the applicant should fill out the remainder of the form. The policies relating to development within these designated areas are included in the County Development Plan. In the areas designated on the Constraints Map as 'Special Control Areas' ie: Pressure Areas, Areas of High Amenity, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, and Natural Heritage Areas, applicants for single houses in rural areas must demonstrate that they satisfy one of three categories listed in Policy P04-16 of the Development Plan. To assist the Planning Authority in it's assessment of this, the Supplementary Application Form no. 1 needs to be completed as part of the application. Supplementary application form no.1 is attached to the main planning application form, a copy of which is included in the Planning Information Pack. The Constraints Map is also included in the Planning Information Pack.
The County Development Plan outlines the meaning of the term 'local need'. Policy P04-17 concerns single rural houses in Aquifer Protection Zones. Policy P04-18 concerns single rural housing outside designated areas. Policy P04-19 concerns replacement of habitable houses in the countryside. Policy P04-20 concerns the re-use of existing structures as dwellings in the countryside. Policy P04-21 concerns the refurbishment of derelict dwellings in the countryside. Only established landowner's families will be considered for single rural housing with access off tow paths, restricted regional routes and national routes.
What are ‘Sightlines’ and how are they measured?
Sightlines are measured from a site access to specific points on the road and are drawn on a site layout map. They demonstrate whether the access proposed is safe for vehicles entering and exiting the site.
Sightlines shall be shown and measured correctly on the site layout map submitted with the application. These are measured at the site access at a height of 1.05m above ground level from a point 3 m back from the road edge and extend for a specified distance to the nearside road edge. The sight distances vary for different categories of roads as follows;
County roads: 70-90m
Regional roads: 120m - 150m
National roads: 215m
The availability of adequate clear unobstructed sight distances along the road from the access point is the most crucial requirement for road safety.
What information am I required to submit in terms of Waste Water Treatment?
Where it is proposed to serve a single dwelling house by a waste water treatment system, the following details will be required to be submitted with your application:
- Percolation test result(s) including site plan – Please note that the Environment Section of Offaly County Council carry out these tests. A copy of the application form for testing of percolation are available from the Environment Department of Offaly County Council.
- Details of the proposed percolation area, which should be designed in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) Manual ‘Treatment Systems for Single Houses’. Dimensioned and to-scale, plan and cross section drawings of the percolation area should be included. There should be a minimum of 1.2m of unsaturated soil between the invert of the percolation trench and the water table and separation distances as recommended in the E.P.A. Manual should be observed.
- Details of the proposed effluent treatment system, which should be certified by the Irish Agrément Board, including a working description of the system.
- A copy of an agreement for the maintenance of the effluent treatment system signed by the applicant and the supplier.
What should I know about Site Selection and Design?
Offaly County Council published guidelines for applicants on the siting and design of dwellings in the Offaly countryside titled 'Designing Houses Creating Homes'. These will also be available on the Council website when completed. The siting, scale, form, design, materials / finishes, landscaping and boundary treatment should all be sympathetic to a rural area. Applicants should try and avoid complex suburban designs. This stage of your planning application would strongly benefit from someone with architectural design training and / or experience.
Can I connect to a Group Water Scheme?
Where the source of water supply is a Group Water Scheme, a letter from the appropriate authority (i.e. Group Scheme organiser) indicating that an adequate supply is available must accompany the application.
Do I need planning permission to demolish a House?
Planning Permission must be sought to demolish a habitable house, or a building which forms part of a terrace of buildings or a building which abuts on another building in separate ownership before any demolition works take place. The location of the structure(s) / building(s) to be demolished shall be indicated on the site layout map in distinctive colour.