Board approval ends grave situation in Kerry town

An Bord Pleanála has approved an application for a compulsory purchase order for a new burial site in Killarney.

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The decision will end Kerry County Council’s 25-year search for a new cemetery in the top tourist town where property value is constantly at a premium.

The proposed site is on agricultural land at Knockeenduff, on the northern side of Killarney. The owner of the eight-acre site, PJ Lynch, has been in negotiation with the county council since 2014.

At a Bord Pleanála oral hearing earlier this year, the landowner had accused the council of using bullying tactics.

The local authority insisted it had examined up to 13 potential cemetery sites.

Meanwhile, the planning appeals body ruled the needs of the community, “public interest and the overall benefits to be achieved”, as well as Kerry’s county development plan, were all taken into account in reaching a decision.

For a number of years, new burial sites were unavailable in Killarney’s cemeteries with remaining plots mainly in long-established family-owned plots.

The proposed new graveyard will have 2,300 plots and 150 car park spaces which the council said should serve Killarney for approximately 35 years.

Killarney Municipal District, by a majority decision of 5-3, had endorsed the planning for the Knockeenduff site. Cllr Brendan Cronin, who supported the proposal, said the Bord Pleanála decision was a “major breakthrough” in a 25-year search for new burial grounds.

He said the municipal body had succeeded where the now-abolished town council had failed.

However, he was critical of the CPO process, and said the council executive should have reached an alternative agreement with the landowner.

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