A new trend in the private property market emerged in 1999 which saw prices forced up and the staving off of outsiders.
Newly wed couples looking to set up residency on the West of Ireland found great dismay upon arriving in County Clare, where they were warned of a controversial rule prohibiting non-locals from building a house in areas considered to be of high and medium development pressure and visually vulnerable areas.
The highly coveted Clare coastline as well as many of the major towns in the county fell privy to these new guidelines. Locals were given precedence over ‘outsiders.’
A local could mean anyone born in the area, with immediate relatives living there or anyone living there or with parents living there for at least a minimum of ten years.
The policy was put into place by the Clare County Council in 1999. Planning refusals were said to have quadrupled in number that year due to the onset of locals looking to set up shop and ship off to non-locals, much to the frustration of the council.
At the end of the year, councillors called for a review of the terms of the policy, claiming it was ‘too rigid.’