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The construction of log cabins in Dublin has gained popularity in recent years. For years, Dublin City Council had not allowed the building of log houses in residential gardens.
Dublin homeowners need to have an in-depth understanding of regulations that pertain to log cabin construction in the city and Ireland in general. This will go a long way in ensuring that they do not violate the law when they decide to build log houses. The renting crisis that has been facing Dublin in the past few years has forced the city to re-evaluate bylaws pertaining to the construction of log houses on residential premises. There is a general consensus that the revision of the current laws can help alleviate the rent crisis in Dublin.
The motion to amend Dublin’s log houses construction regulations will be tabled before the planning and property development strategic policy committee of the City Council in September. The mover of this motion, Councillor John Lyons, argues that it will ultimately bring to light grey areas that characterize current legislation on the matter. The housing crisis that Dublin is currently facing has led to the proliferation of illegally-constructed log cabins on residential property.
The current regulations state that log cabins which are more than 25sq m require planning permission. The council also considers public opinion in the sense that if no one objects to the planned construction of a log building within a locality, approval is automatically granted. The proposed amendment seeks to label log cabins as temporary structures, which can be constructed on the backyard of residential properties, for residential purposes. Ecohome – one of the leading log home builder in Ireland, offers a wide range of log cabins that can be built without planning permission.
The amendment has come at a time when the Dublin City Council’s An Board Pleanála, (the Planning Appeals Board) is under immense criticism for ordering a young couple to pull down a log house they had called home for months. However, those in support of the existing regulations point out that if the amendments are passed, there will be an epidemic of adult children constructing unauthorized log houses on their parents’ backyards just to avoid paying rent.
In mid-2017, the Dublin City Council approved retention permission pertaining to log cabins for up to two years. Upon the elapse of this period, the permission could either be extended after getting reviewed, or the cabin house in question pulled down. Nonetheless, the permission was revoked a few months later by the An Bord Pleanála. According to Councillor Lyons, the current regulations are a manifestation of the unfair and ineffective application of the city’s by-laws. Many log cabins still stand on people’s backyards simply because the city council ignored objections about their construction, or no objections were raised about their construction.
The housing crisis that Dublin has been experiencing has reached its pinnacle. A recent survey indicates that the city’s rents are at an all-time high and to such an extent that the affordable living wage surpasses the minimal wage by €2. These figures point to a worrying trend, which could perhaps be spurring residents to increasingly consider building log cabins on their backyards.
The city attempted to alleviate the rent crisis through the addition of new suburbs but nonetheless, the issue hasn’t been tackled fruitfully. Councillor Lyons argues that instead of hindering families from constructing log cabins on their backyards for residential purposes, the Dublin City Council should focus more on cushioning its residents from the ever burgeoning rents. He also proposes the enactment of a 5-year retention permission period so that young couples can have more time to save up money for the construction of “proper” homes.
Before purchasing a log cabin, you need to be aware of Dublin’s cabin house regulations and building permits. This will help you establish whether or not your project needs planning permission. Keep in mind that the closer a backyard log cabin is to your home’s boundary, the higher the chances that you will require planning commission.
There are a number of permitted development rights, which allow you to extend and improve your property without applying for planning permission. If the log cabin that you intend to put up is incidental to your main welling house’s recreation purposes, the permitted development rights come into play. These rights are not applicable if the log cabin that you intend to construct is a sleeping accommodation or even an annex of the main house. In this case, you will need to apply for planning permission.
Once you make a planning permission application to Dublin City Council, several factors will be used to determine whether your application is valid or not. For instance, your application will obviously be rejected if neighbours object to it on the basis that it will obstruct their view. If your project requires a new or wider road access, it is also likely to be disregarded.
It is advisable to get in touch with the local planning department so that these regulations can be explained to you beforehand. This will help you pinpoint any stumbling blocks that may make your application be rejected. Keep in mind that undertaking public consultation before embarking on the project is advisable since it will minimize instances of neighbours raising objections once construction has started.
With the on-going rent crisis in Dublin, constructing a residential log house is a lucrative investment. Nonetheless, your investment can only be safe if you comply with the city’s regulatory requirements. This will prevent you from being penalized or even worse having your project halted.