LANDOWNERS on the northern and western outskirts of Killarney are set for a huge financial windfall, with large amounts of property due to be zoned for housing.
A total of 127 hectares are included in a variation of the Northern Gateway Action Area Plan which covers the area between the Tralee Road and the Killarney bypass.
According to Killarney Labour councillor Sean O’Grady, upwards of 1,300 houses will be built on this land in the coming years.
However, the land runs close to the route of a proposed N22 road between Killarney and Farranfore and the National Roads Authority (NRA) has warned Killarney Town Council that any new zonings should not increase the cost of acquiring land for the road.
In a submission to the council, NRA planner Tara Spain said while there could be major financial gains for property owners, that would not be in the public interest and would reduce funding for road works generally.
Also in a submission, Catherine McMullin, of An Taisce (Kerry), stressed the need for better roads to cater for the extra traffic to be generated.
She called for the development of land closer to the town centre, prior to the development of the northern gateway to Killarney.
But Killarney town manager John Breen said it was necessary to zone the gateway land for development.
He said the plan for the area was part of a 20-year masterplan for Killarney and was meant to cater for the future expansion of the town.
Mr Breen disagreed with the view that there is an oversupply of land zoned for housing within Killarney town.
However, he believed Killarney had a continuing problem in relation to the lack of zoned land coming onto the market.
“It is generally considered that Killarney has suffered as a consequence and the planning authority believes that some of the land included in this variation will be released to the market,” Mr Breen went on.
FF councillor Brian O’Leary called for discussions with the NRA regarding new entrances andexits from national primary roads to facilitate future development. He also asked if the envisaged development was realistic.