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Cllr Francis Timmons – Independent Voice

Caravans and the law


Monday, November 14, 2016


QUESTION: Councillor F. Timmons

To ask for a report into what changes would be needed (Legislation and Council) to allow people house there family/relatives in a mobile Home/Caravan in their back garden? and to outline what needs to be done to achieve these changes


Under both the Planning and Development Acts and the Planning Regulations numerous references are made to dwellings/ houses and caravans / mobile homes which make it apparent that dwellings and caravans are quite different both in terms of what they are considered to be and in regard to their use e.g. reference to caravan’s use in camping.   Houses / dwellings are referenced in the legislation as habitable structures, while caravans mobile homes are not. There are several definitions and regulations pertaining to caravans and dwellings that would have to be amended to facilitate the use of mobile homes / caravans for housing rather than camping.

The South Dublin County Council Development Plan 2016 – 2022 provides that only the use class “Caravan Park – Residential” – defined as “the use of land for the accommodation of caravans or similar structures for year round human habitation” can accommodate year round human habitation, i.e. not back gardens. Back gardens are provided in residential development as private amenity space for permanent dwellings in approved developments. There are also policies relating to sub-division of residential development in the plan covering amenities, access, infrastructure etc..  To facilitate the use of mobile homes / caravans for housing would in addition to changes in both legislation and regulations require numerous amendments to the South Dublin County Council Development Plan 2016 – 2022.