More than three-quarters of land designated for housing in Dingle town and surrounding areas during the economic boom is to be dezoned.
Under a new area plan for most of the Dingle Peninsula, Kerry Co Council is proposing to reduce the amount of already-zoned land from 195 acres to 45 acres.
However, there is still some pressure on the council to retain residential zoning in Dingle for parcels of land or to rezone other land as residential. The owner of 11 acres at The Grove, Dingle, for example, is seeking to retain residential zoning for the land to meet the housing needs of an extended family.
However, senior planning engineer Paul Stack voiced concerns that some of the land could be used for tourism and leisure purposes, or a caravan park, which would be suitable in a scenic area.
The issue arose during a special meeting to consider a new Dingle local area plan for 2012 to 2018, which would be used as part of the future planning process for large tracts of land in and around Dingle town for housing.
A "dezoning" process is currently underway in Dingle and other towns in Kerry. More than 5,000 acres in the county, excluding the urban areas of Tralee, Killarney and Listowel, were zoned for housing, with only a quarter of the land being serviced for development.
Kerry councillors zoned enough land for 61,269 housing units — about six times more than what was needed for the population, according to data from the Department of Environment.
The amendments to the new Dingle plan, decided by councillors, will be published later this month and will be put out for a four-week period of public consultation. It is hoped to bring the plan back before the council in June.
Council management has stated that future residential zonings in Dingle will only be considered on infill land, or brownfield sites, or on lands close to existing residential areas.
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