MEMBERS OF Kerry County Council have ignored the advice of their senior planners by granting a controversial land rezoning to Gaelic football great Páidí Ó Sé.
The zoning clears the way for Ó Sé to apply for planning permission for a sports interpretive centre, with commercial accommodation, at his pub in Ventry.
The land, in a scenic area less than a third of a mile from the sea, had prime special amenity zoning, but now has residential-opportunity zoning in the new Kerry County Development Plan 2009-2015.
Senior council planning engineer Tom Sheehy said he had no difficulty with the sports interpretive centre, but having commercial accommodation on a sensitive landscape between the Slea Head road and the sea would be totally inappropriate.
He also said applications for rezonings by other people in the area had already been refused and he did not believe exceptions should be made.
Mr Sheehy said the idea of allowing holiday homes so as to make a tourism project viable had previously been rejected by councillors arising from submissions by private golf clubs
The rezoning request by the Fáilte Ireland director and holder of eight All-Ireland medals was opposed by two Ventry groups, Fís Fionn Trá and Intíre. But, Fianna Fáil councillor Paul O’Donoghue, who proposed the rezoning be granted, said the development would help create jobs and generate income in the area.