A SUBSTANTIAL residential and holiday-home development proposed for a scenic hillside a kilometre from Dingle town centre has been refused permission by An Bord Pleanála.
This was done mainly on the grounds that it would create sprawl and work against recent efforts to create a compact town in Dingle, Co Kerry.
The decision has been welcomed by local conservationists, who have objected to much of the recent development in the coastal town.
Seán Brosnan, a local conservationist, said: “Dingle is a sensitive place, it needs sensitive, well-planned development. Clearly sprawl is not well planned.”
Kerry County Council had already refused planning for the 94 houses, which included 27 holiday homes, and the renovation of an old farmhouse on 10 acres on the Conor Pass side of the town.
Part of the access would have been from the Dingle Way walking route.
Submissions to the council detailed how there were already lots of houses for sale in Dingle, that there were too many holiday homes and too many empty houses.
There was also criticism of much of the recent elevated development around the town which runs down to the sea.
The objectors also claimed the proposed site was “rural in character” and removed from the town centre.
Agents for the applicants, Dunboy Homes, appealed the council’s refusal.
They pointed out that the land had been zoned for residential use and “incorporated within the town boundary of An Daingean” in 2006.They said that development of the site could, therefore, be expected.
The appellants also submitted that adjacent developments were more visually intrusive upon views from the Conor Pass tourist route.
The planning board refused permission “having regard to provide for the development of a compact and accessible town”, the elevated and exposed scenic setting of the site and the possibility of disturbing subsurface archaeological remains.
Locals believe that about 400 houses are empty in Dingle.