Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Kerry developments breach planing permissions

Hundreds of developments are the subject of enforcement procedures in Kerry and up to 400 files are "open and active" at any one time, according to a report published by the county council yesterday.

Quarries as well as waste outlets are the subject of enforcement proceedings and several developers of housing estates in Kerry are in breach of their planning permissions. A number are not complying with footpath completion, street lighting and wastewater disposal, while two large-scale developments are not adhering to the social and affordable housing provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Some of the issues go back to 1999, the councillor who requested the report stated.

A number of houses in the 42-house development at Drimabeg, Sneem, were found to have floor levels higher or lower than granted permission for, and, following notice from the council, the developer, Coolfada Ltd, Bandon, had ceased the unauthorized building and was in discussion with the council, according to the report.

A number of houses in a 33-house development granted permission at Garranearagh, Caherciveen, were built in the wrong location. Retention had been granted for some, but legal proceedings were also pending against the developers, Threejay Construction Ltd, Waterville, and John Reeve, Beenbawn, Waterville.

A hotel in Killorglin on the former site of the Goat Inn had no underground car park as agreed in the original planning permission and the building itself was "larger towards the rear than originally intended".

Dingle developer Southbound Properties Ltd was granted planning for 64 houses at Gortorna, Dingle, and had not signed an agreement with the council housing department with regard to social and housing provision. It is also the subject of proceedings.

Cllr Brendan Cronin (Ind), who requested the report by council resolution last month, said four housing estates granted planning in 1999 still had no public lighting.

Only the Christmas decorations were lighting the way, he said.

Cllr Cronin said developers who had not complied with the public part of their obligations should not be granted permission for further developments until they had complied.

"Every person that buys into a development is entitled to public footpaths, roads and lighting. This is a condition of planning."

Council director of planning services Michael McMahon said a 2006 amendment to the planning acts allowed the local authority to take past performance into account, and the council intended to do so.

He said quarrying was also the subject of enforcement proceedings. Some 24 cases had reached the Circuit Court in the 12-month period to August 2007 and a number of structures had been demolished.

Enforcement took "enormous resources", Mr McMahon said.

Anne Lucey
The Irish Times


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