FIANNA Fail backbenchers have expressed concern about an EU ruling which could restrict one-off houses in rural areas.
The European Commission is expected to announce that many of the planning restrictions which favour people connected to the locality are illegal under European law.
This means that the development plans of 22 counties will now have to be re-written.
It may also make it more difficult to obtain planning permission for one-off rural housing.
At the Fianna Fail parliamentary party meeting last night, several rural-based backbenchers expressed concern about the effect the ruling could have on their constituents.
Minister of State Tony Killeen said that a letter from the European Commission on the issue had just been received by the Department of the Environment.
Mr Killeen reassured the backbenchers that the department had several months to examine the issue before it had to make a response.
The European Commission carried out its examination of county development plans of the counties following a complaint from an Irish citizen who was refused planning permission to build a house in Wicklow.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern did not attend the parliamentary party meeting last night because he was attending the removal ceremony of Health Minister Mary Harney's mother. Tanaiste Brian Cowen was also absent due to a speaking engagement in the Seanad.