Friday, 15 December 2006

Locals protest at huge growth of Kenmare

From Irish Examiner:

A MAJOR protest against what is described as the overdevelopment of Kenmare — one of Kerry’s fastest growing towns — is planned for tomorrow.
At the centre of the latest controversy is the multi-million euro Peninsula project, which includes more than 300 houses, a large shopping area and a 200-space car park.
The project has been refused planning permission by Kerry County Council and an appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála.
Local business people Peter and Fiona O’Sullivan and Neidín Developments, which is owned by a number of property developers in the area, are behind the development.
Kenmare Chamber of Commerce yesterday claimed existing infrastructure is under severe pressure and could not cope with a massive increase in development in the area.
“Only last year the town suffered all summer from the vile smell of raw sewage coming from the treatment system which was unable to operate to the capacity needed. The situation seriously affected the tourist season with horrified visitors leaving the town,” a chamber statement said.
“In the last 10 years the traffic congestion in Kenmare has intensified to the point of gridlock in peak season. There is a serious shortage of parking, areas for coach drop-off, and the ability to implement proper traffic flow conditions.”
The chamber said Kenmare people were not against development, but maintained the council’s resources were already too stretched to cater for the enormous increase in development in Kenmare.
Last summer, more than 300 people attended a meeting on the issue. People are again asked to attend tomorrow’s protest. Objectors argue Kenmare does not need the additional retail development of the size proposed.
They also say that such a development would add to the town’s traffic problems.
Developers say the traffic situation is related to on-street parking and would be eased by removing traffic from the street.
Neidín Development have also indicated their willingness to work with a committee set up by local residents.

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