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Labour's Ivana Bacik called on the government to introduce a planning exemption Leah Farrell/
On Yer Bike

Government ‘exploring’ planning exemption for outdoor bike sheds in homes

The announcement comes following a request from the Labour party who said it needs to be made easier for people who want to cycle to do so.

THE DEPARTMENT OF housing has said it is exploring the idea of a planning exemption for small outdoor bike storage sheds for houses. 

Minister of state Kieran O’Donnell made the comments in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Labour leader Ivana Bacik. 

Bacik wrote to the Minister for Housing this week and urged the government to amend the planning laws so that homeowners can install covered bike shelters in their homes in order to make it easier for people who want to cycle to do so. 

Bacik said there has been “a huge shift for commuters to their bikes, yet the laws haven’t caught up yet.”

She pointed to the 2021 Walking and Cycling Index, which found that walking and cycling takes up to 330,000 cars off the road in Dublin alone.

“When it comes to tackling climate change, we need to listen to where people are at and what their needs are,” Bacik said.

Currently, under the Planning and Development Act 2000, a homeowner must apply for planning permission if they want to put up a covered bike shelter in the front of their home. 

Bacik described this as an “arduous process” with “inevitable delays” and said that the law should be amended to allow for what is  a “very small structural change to a home”.

“Of course, it’s not just a measure that would help getting people to and from work. Particularly during Covid, we saw huge demand for bikes for people who wanted to take it up as a hobby. The huge increase in families on a weekend jaunt on their bikes is noticeable too,” Bacik said.

In response to Bacik’s question, O’Donnell said exemptions that are provided for in planning regulations are kept under “regular review” and that one for small outdoor bike storage facilities is currently being explored by the Department. 

He said if it is considered appropriate, legislation will be brought forward.

Bacik added that a whole of government approach is needed to tackle climate change. 

“Community centred measures are crucial to this,” she said.

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