Tourism sector’s planning bombshell

Hundreds of short-term lets – holiday homes and apartments – across the county look set to come under increased scrutiny from the planning authorities from June 1.

That’s according to the umbrella body representing the self-catering sector, which estimates that a change in planning classification would affect between 700 and 800 homes in Connemara alone.

And the Council of the Irish Self-Catering Federation has warned that this planning change could deal a killer blow to what they describe as a vitally important means of generating income in many rural communities.

Leaders have also warned that specific planning permission for self-catering accommodation could also raise the spectre of commercial rates for the property owners.

The Self-Catering Association is coming west next week with a roadshow to provide advice and information regarding the planning change – and seek to build support in opposition to it.

Peter Doheny, chairman of the Irish Self-Catering Federation Association, said this week that a move from Minister Eoghan Murphy’s Housing Department to place a requirement for planning permission on such properties was ‘over the top’.

In Connemara, a prime location for such short term summer lettings, Terry O’Toole – a national committee member of Self-Catering Federation – said this new emphasis on planning permission was a serious threat to yet another facet of the rural economy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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