An Bord Pleanála has given its clearest indication yet as to how it will apply the imposition of Irish language conditions to the granting of planning permission for new housing developments in Gaeltacht areas.
Dealing with two planning appeals in counties Galway and Kerry, it has decided that the number of houses to be reserved for Irish speakers will be linked directly to the percentage of people living in the area who already speak Irish.
In Furbo, Co Galway, the board stated that 60% of occupants in the development needed to be either fluent or have a command of the Irish language.
Granting planning permission, three apartments and six houses will need to be occupied by Irish speakers.
In Ballyferriter, Co Kerry, the board stated that 75% of occupants in the development needed to be either fluent or have a command of the Irish language, meaning 12 houses are specified for Irish speakers in the planning permission.
The board ruled in both cases that the restriction on occupancy should remain in place for 15 years.