Decision to allow mobile homes be used as temporary accommodation is ‘another shame’

by Padraig Conlon
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A decision allowing families use mobile homes as temporary accommodation is “another shame on our government.”

This is according to Councillor Ruth Nolan whose motion calling for South Dublin County Council to grant permission for mobile homes in back gardens was passed on Monday night.

“I think it’s a truly sad reflection on today’s society, I tabled the motion with a heavy heart,” Cllr Nolan told Dublin Gazette.

“I’m not happy with myself for bringing it but the reason I did was because more and more constituents were coming to me with their problems of overcrowding at home.

“Their children are back living in the family home because they’re saving for a deposit on a house or can’t pay the over-inflated rents in the private sector and they don’t quality for HAP.

“This is now the reality for a lot of families who are forced to accommodate family members.

“Many tell me they are using mobile homes to deal with overcrowding but they were worried about neighbours complaining or not having planning permission so this had to be acknowledged.

“Instead of having the added stress of overcrowding in the family home, this option can temporarily alleviate any space issue.

“Now the motion has been passed I hope planning regulations for people in this situation will be relaxed.”

All development requires planning permission and as mobile homes are considered development, they can’t be placed in a back garden without first obtaining planning permission.

“I want to make it clear this is specifically aimed at purely temporary situation,” Cllr Nolan added.

“It’s not that anyone thinks this is a good idea but if we don’t address it now it’ll have to be faced down the line.

“It’s passing is another shame on our government who are failing to deal with the housing crisis.

“I would rather they build houses.”

An amendment to the motion allowing granny flats and log cabins also be included was rejected at Monday night’s meeting because they are permanent structures.

Commenting on the motion, South Dublin County Council CEO Danny McLoughlin said:

“There are serious issues around a number of concerns that come up in planning.

“A blanket regulatory intervention is highly unlikely.

“I don’t know of any planning applications that have come through for mobile homes.

“If there are unauthorised ones, they haven’t been brought to our attention.

“We can’t be bloodhounds on this.

“I advise, as I have to advise, people not to do it without authorisation.”

In their response to the motion SDCC said: “Mobile home accommodation in back gardens is not exempt development under the Planning and Development Regulations.

“Therefore, under legislation, all such development is subject to the need to make a planning application to the Local Authority.”

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