Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae is involved in a planning row over his plans to convert a disused pub in Tralee into apartments.
Several local residents have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the recent decision of Kerry County Council to approve the politician’s proposed redevelopment of the former Nancy Myles pub in Ballymullen, Tralee, into four apartments.
Mr Healy-Rae originally sought planning permission for nine apartments on the site last year but faced strong local opposition with more than 20 parties objecting to the plans claiming the housing units didn’t meet the required minimum floor space and represented an overdevelopment.
A revised plan for four housing units was subsequently submitted by Mr Healy-Rae but council planners still requested further information on whether the property was affected by flooding and Japanese knotweed.
The council’s biodiversity officer said Mr Healy-Rae’s response to how he would tackle the invasive weed, which is particularly prevalent in Co Kerry, was “relatively generic in form” and didn’t specifically relate to the site in question.
Kerry County Council granted planning permission for the redevelopment last month claiming it would not, subject to compliance with 10 planning conditions, be visually obtrusive or out of character with the area.
The conditions include the requirement to pay the council a contribution of €4,668.
A council planner said the principle of bringing the property back into use for residential purposes was to be welcomed.
Opponents of the project have claimed that Mr Healy-Rae was incorrect to state in his planning application that the pub had never been flooded. They pointed out it was flooded in November 2015 with local residents now having difficulty in getting their properties insured.
Objectors claim the development is unsuitable for the area, creating traffic and parking problems.
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