Donal Óg Cusack has abandoned his current plans to build his dream home out on the outskirts of his homeplace in Cork writes Gordan Deegan.
This follows Mr Cusack confirming to An Bord Pleanála he wishes to withdraw his appeal against the decision of Cork County Council to refuse him planning permission for build a four bedroomed home around 1km to the north of the East Cork town of Cloyne.
Former Cork goalkeeper, Cusack is currently living at Ballinacurra near Middleton and was seeking to return to his homeplace by building a new home on land where there is an existing cottage.
A current coach with Clare’s senior hurlers, the triple All-Ireland winner was raised on Chapel Street in Cloyne. However, following the refusal, Mr Cusack has become the highest profile casualty of a ‘locals only’ policy practiced by local authorities across the country that seeks to concentrate populations in urban areas and limit one-off housing in the countryside.
Cork County Council refused Mr Cusack planning permission after ruling he has no ties to the ‘local rural area’ at Knocknamadderee, Cloyne and his main connection is to the Cloyne urban area. There would be no such restrictions if Mr Cusack was to seek planning now in the Cloyne urban area.
The council stated the area in which Mr Cusack has applied to build on is outside the Cloyne settlement boundary and is designated a ‘rural area under strong urban influence’ where the development of new homes by ‘outsiders’ is restricted.
In such areas, restrictions don’t apply to persons who have lived in the area for more than seven years or for example farmers’ sons and daughters looking to build on family-owned land.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.