Wednesday 16 April 2008

Patio area planned for Collins home challenged

A PATIO decking area in Kells Bay, Co Kerry, attached to the rebuilding of the residence of former MEP and minister Gerry Collins has run into difficulties after a complaint to the planning department of Kerry County Council.

A private family retreat, the house, with a boathouse and slipway on to the sea, is frequently used by the Collins family.

Mr Collins said he was "devastated" at the burning and immediately set about plans to rebuild it. According to the plans submitted to the council by Mr Collins and his wife Hilary, the split-level bungalow is to be used as a retirement home. The application was lodged in June for reconstruction and extension of the bungalow including "extended patio deck" area. The development was granted permission in October.

The reconstruction is currently under way. However the extent of the decking has attracted a complaint to the council.

According to the Dublin-based complainant, who has been holidaying in the area since childhood, the protruding structure replaced a traditional inconspicuous stone wall and this and the bringing of rock into the area should have required special attention.

The "mound of boulders four metres high" was taking from the appearance of the beach and was visually obtrusive, it was claimed. The complainant also raised the question of a foreshore licence.

Planners have investigated and it is understood they have ruled out the necessity for a foreshore licence. However, they are taking issue with the placing of rock armour on the front of the decking area and are asking that this be addressed.

The Collins's engineers and architects have told the council they believe they are in full compliance with their planning permission.

The Irish Times

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