Move to enable councils issue discharge licences for planning permission for rural houses

A Sligo/Leitrim TD has introduced an amendment to a Bill aimed at making it easier for people to get planning permission for one-off housing in rural areas where the soil is unsuitable for septic tanks.

The amendment would allow for a so-called discharge licence to be issued by county councils in situations where percolation tests fail.

Sinn Fein Deputy Martin Kenny says his amendment is designed to help people who want to live in rural Ireland but who cannot get planning permission to build homes there.

He says the nature of the soil in areas of the north west, particularly in parts of Leitrim, means that the standard percolation test will not be passed.

But Deputy Kenny says that if the proposed discharge licences are granted in an appropriate and proportionate way, there is no danger to the enviornment from his amendment, which he has been telling Ocean FM News about.

Deputy Kenny admits that some people are concerned that allowing local authorities issue discharge licences could lead to pollution.

But he says his amendment is an attempt to come up with a solution that will have NO negative impact on the environment.

Meanwhile, Leitrim County Council is making its own efforts to deal with the problem — which Deputy Kenny hopes can eventually run in tandem with his amendment, if it’s passed.