No outsiders rule to stay in mountains
A 'NO outsiders' rule on house building in the Dublin Mountains is to remain in place.
The rule will remain after a bid to loosen restrictions on non-local people building homes in the picturesque area has been rejected.
A number of politicians on South Dublin County Council had sought to ease the ban.
However, planners came out against the move and it was eventually defeated in a vote by councillors.
The Dublin Mountains are currently zoned 'H' -- to "protect and enhance" their "outstanding natural character".
A clause stipulates that the applicant must be "a native of the area" and "can demonstrate a genuine need for housing".
The development being applied for must relate "directly to the area's amenity potential or to its use for agriculture, mountain or hill farming".
In addition, the house cannot "prejudice the environmental capacity of the area", while also being "in keeping with the character" of the mountains.
Fianna Fail's John Hannon and Sinn Fein's Sean Crowe tabled a motion for the county development plan meeting this week requesting a slightly less restrictive approach.
Their motion called for "permanent native" residents of the area to be allowed to apply.
They defined this category as people who were born and reared "in the family home in the same rural area as the proposed development site" or have "resided in the area for at least 15 years prior to the application for planning permission".
The councillors also wanted to open it up to people who are "full-time farmers or employed full-time" in other rural based activities in the area or whose "employment is intrinsically linked to the rural area in which they wish to build".
However, in a close vote, the motion was rejected.
Mr Crowe said he had sought the change so that, for example, a person seeking to move to the area to be near their elderly parents could be granted planning for a home.
"For the last two years, there have been applicants from the area and they have been refused permission," he told the Herald. "Every application (in the last two years) has been refused."