A Fianna Fáil councillor in Galway is calling for a new policy to be drawn up to ensure loopholes are not exploited in planning permission laws.

During a meeting of Galway County Council, councillors discussed how couples are pretending to break up in order to gain planning permission for a second one-off house.

The discussion came from a motion by Fine Gael councillor Joe Byrne to make alterations to the Galway County Development Plan.

But Councillor Noel Thomas says it’s difficult to put a policy like this in place:

“Take the aspect where you could have a son or daughter of your own, they built a house in the countryside on your land; and it happens, people separate.” 

“And some separations can be nasty and all the rest and end up with people in difficult financial situations.”

“In a genuine case like that there’s no way you can tell me that that person shouldn’t qualify again for housing, to be able to build on their own family lands again.”