A bill aimed at resolving difficulties around planning permission in the northwest of the country was due before the Dáil this evening. Leitrim County Council says Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are preventing local people from building one-off houses in the area. The guidelines were adopted as part of measures to prevent ground water pollution from septic tanks. Francis McSharry from Kinlough, Co Leitrim, has spent four years trying to get planning for a home on his family farm. However, the strict EPA rules on effluent treatment have made obtaining planning permission extremely difficult. Given its often boggy, wet nature, 87% of rural Leitrim land does not meet EPA T90 standards. This means it takes more than five hours for water to drop four inches in a percolation hole, so it struggles to deal with septic tank run-offs.
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