Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Kerry being overdeveloped - report

Ten times the number of homes needed to accommodate actual population increase, some 3,000 houses, were granted permission in Co Kerry in 2006, according to a planning report on foot of a council motion.

The report warns that "a significant number of areas" are now overdeveloped in Kerry, leading to consequences for tourism.

Outside the three town council areas of Killarney, Tralee and Listowel - which have their own planning authorities - enough houses were granted permission in Kerry to accommodate a population growth of 10,000 people, planners said.

The figure includes schemes in villages and in smaller towns such as Kenmare and Dingle. More than one-third of houses given permission last year were one-off houses in the countryside. The actual annual increase in Kerry is 1,000 people and the "total new house requirement" is 300 houses, excluding the three town council areas, the planners said in response to a motion from Cllr Danny Healy-Rae.

Cllr Healy-Rae asked the council to explain why farmers wishing to sell a site to a local person "or to a local small builder" who would build a house to be sold to a local resident were not being given permission.

He said he had several instances where people wishing to buy sites were finding it difficult to get permission, despite the fact these people were willing to comply with occupancy clauses.

However, the planners said: "the rural areas of Co Kerry can only sustain a certain level of development. In fact, at this point in time a significant number of areas are overdeveloped, leading to major implications for infrastructure, the environment and tourism."

The Irish Times


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