A MOVE by members of Clare County Council to force through a contentious planning permission for an Ennis businessman for a one-off house in the Burren has failed.
Councillors believed they had secured planning permission for Gerry Danagher to build a home at Ballycullinan, Corofin, after they voted by 27 to 3 in favour of contravening the Clare County Development Plan at their June meeting.
A planner’s report before the meeting recommended that permission be refused on a number of grounds.
It was the first time since 1983 that councillors had invoked special powers in the planning area by tabling a contentious Section 140 motion directing the county manager, Alec Fleming, to grant planning permission.
It is also the first time that the councillors overturned the council’s own “locals-only” rule that was introduced in 1999 to grant an individual planning permission.
However, Mr Fleming has refused planning permission to Mr Danagher after taking legal advice.
A refusal has now been issued to Mr Danagher on two grounds. The council has ruled that he does not comply with the policies of the development plan as he does not qualify as a local person as he was not born in the area. It also said the proposal would give rise to a risk of water pollution affecting the quality of the surface waters.
Independent councillor Tommy Brennan, who proposed the material contravention at the meeting, said yesterday he was disappointed at the refusal. “We have to see where we move on from here and see what happens,” he said.
The Irish Times