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Housing Special: Aoife Kearns explores building a home in Waterford

Housing Special: Aoife Kearns explores building a home in Waterford Housing Special: Aoife Kearns explores building a home in Waterford
Aoife Kearns

Homeowners planning to build facing obstacles

From the planning process to the price of materials - people who decided they wanted to build their forever home over the past year have had to face plenty of hurdles.

The number of planning applications submitted to the local authority over the past year has increased, with one-off builds making up the bulk of these applications

Thatโ€™s according to senior Planner with Waterford City and County Council Liam McGree.

For 2021 we've had 835 planning applications to date which compares to 619 applications for the same period last year. Every year for the last number of applications have been increasing and increasing steadily. One-off applications would still make up the bulk - whether it is for an individual house or an extension or modification to an individual house, he said.

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National policy has emphasised the need for residential developments to be in more urban areas.

Council to debate the planning issue into the future

This was reflected in the office of the planning regulators most recent submission on Waterfordโ€™s draft county development plan.

And Liam McGree the councilโ€™s senior planner said it will be one of the biggest debates within councils across the country for years to come.

The shortage of housing in Waterford's rural towns and villages is leaving people with no option but to build.

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That's according to Shane Goff who has just gotten planning permission to build a house in Rathgormack.

"I'm lucky enough to be able to rent a house over the past number of years because there is a shortage of houses.

"There is the odd one-off house that is being built but there hasn't been a group of houses built in the village of Rathgormack in about 30 years," Shane said.

Darren Dunford who is from Colligan has the foundations down at the minute and is delighted to be able to live on his family's land.

But he fears living in the village of Colligan won't be an option into the future for his siblings.

"Thank God we were ready to go this year and we got our planning and we will have our house in the country where we always wanted to build.

Down the line, I have younger brothers and sisters and I don't know whether they will be able to get planning or not which is sad to see when your own land is there at home," Darren said.

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