Monday, 24 January 2011

Calls to scrap new Kerry county plan

THE “SCRAPPING” of the current Kerry county development plan in favour of the previous plan was called for at yesterday’s meeting of Kerry County Council after cross-party complaints.

It was claimed that the new plan was militating against the spirit of recent Government measures to give applicants a break and allow them an extension of time on planning permissions granted during the boom.

Industrial development was being refused also, it was claimed.

The new planning and development regulations allowing applicants to seek to carry their permissions beyond the five years normally allowed were introduced in 2010 by the Minister for the Environment because of the economic downturn, the meeting heard.

However, in Kerry individuals were being refused on the grounds that they did not meet the requirements of the new county plan which also came into force last year. Some 21 per cent of planning applications for commercial developments had been refused, and jobs had fled the county as a result, the meeting also heard.

A total of 19 planning applications for commercial development were refused, according to information released to Fianna Fáil councillor Paul O’Donoghue.

He said he sought the details after hearing from two applicants, one of whom had to leave the country and another who could not now employ seven people as planned.

However, county manager Tom Curran said the sites were inappropriate, and one concerned an attempt to legitimise an unauthorised development. Proper planning and sustainable development had to take precedence, irrespective of jobs.

Mr Curran also said: “We have Government legislation coming at us left, right and centre on planning, and what we are doing is implementing Government policy.”

Irish Times

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