A CLEAR planning policy for the construction of log cabins was called for at a meeting of Cork County Council.
A motion, tabled by FF Cllr William O’Leary, met with cross-party support because of the housing crisis.
‘The Council,’ according to Cllr O’Leary, ‘should define a clear planning policy with respect to the construction of log cabins, and other similar structures in rural areas, given the increase in applications for these types of buildings.’
The increase in applications is, he claimed, from people who want to use these as their primary residence due to the lack of housing, rent pressures, or pending evictions.
Given that the Cork Rural Design has no guidance in relation to these types of structures, he said a definitive planning policy would bring clarity to the situation, and could ease the demand for housing.
Bandon-based Cllr Sean O’Donovan (FF) said he had spoken with a 62-year-old constituent who had recently been refused planning permission for a cabin.
Had she been granted permission, on a privately-purchased plot, she would have been able to free-up a three-bedroom house she is currently renting, he said.
‘Her rented property would be ideal for a family in need of a home,’ said Cllr O’Donovan, who pointed out that the woman can’t afford to buy a home on the open market. Failure to build a log cabin will, he added, mean she will now have to go on the Council’s housing list.
He also described the motion as timely because these dwellings are ‘popping up around the place anyway regardless of planning.’
Council chief executive, Tim Lucey, agreed that there is ‘a lot of design and innovation in housing development.
‘As an organisation there is an onus on us to give further guidance to people,’ he said.