Vintners appeal against golf club plan

A major planning row has erupted in a North Kerry village between several pub owners and a golf course over plans for an extension to its clubhouse. Members of Kerry Vintners Association in Ballyheigue have lodged an appeal against the decision of Kerry County Council to grant planning permission for a proposed extension to the clubhouse at Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club.

The objectors have alleged the clubhouse is being used for a variety of functions, contrary to planning permission, which is affecting their own businesses. They claim the golf club is advertising directly to the public with a poster offering facilities for up to 100 people for christenings, anniversaries, and parties.

Kerry Vintners Association also pointed out that the golf club, in its own planning submission, had stated that it was involved in “hosting members’ events, catering for visitors, tourists, and fundraising events”.

Pat Flahive, who runs Flahive’s pub on Main St, Ballyheigue, said it was already a condition in the original grant of planning permission for the clubhouse that it would not be used for any functions or dances or the performance of live music after 9pm. He said another condition stipulated that the clubhouse should be confined to uses directly associated with the golf club.

The publicans criticised the council for failing to take enforcement action on the issue. The golf club was advised by planners that it would also require retention permission for its existing clubhouse after it was discovered that the front porch had been constructed differently to that allowed in the original plans.

Council officials also noted that an unauthorised storage building had been constructed to the rear of the clubhouse without planning permission.

The council ruled that the objectors could address their concerns by imposing a condition that the use of the extended clubhouse would be “confined to uses directly associated with the golf club”.

Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club said the extension was for its growing membership. A ruling in the case is expected by July 22.

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