A “VIRTUAL ban” on Killarney townspeople from building houses in the surrounding countryside is “totally unfair”, according to a local official.
The high cost of houses and scarcity of sites in Killarney are among the factors forcing some people to look for sites in rural areas, according to Independent Councillor Danny Healy-Rae.
But, he claimed, the council had imposed a virtual ban on the granting of planning permission in the townlands of Aghadoe, Barleymount, Kilcummin, Tiernaboul and Muckross.
He said one of the reasons given for refusals was that such areas were under urban-generated pressure for housing, but he did not agree all the areas were already over-developed.
“It’s totally undemocratic, unfair and ridiculous that people born in Killarney town should forever be stopped from building in these areas. Each applicant’s case should be assessed on its own merits,” he said.
He called for a further review of the recently-adopted area environs plan for Killarney and for removal of the planning restriction on Killarney townspeople.
A council spokesman, however, said the environs plan had been adopted following two separate rounds of public consultation and considerable debate amongst the elected members. “It is difficult to understand, therefore, how the adoption of this policy can be described as undemocratic.”
The council also said there was nothing in the county development plan that prohibited an applicant in an urban area from applying for planning permission to relocate to a rural area.
Meanwhile, it has emerged planning permission will not be granted for houses in some Kerry towns and villages due to the lack of sewerage services.
Fianna Fáil Councillor John Brassil said it will be 10 years before necessary sewerage schemes are put in place in some areas.
He said a lot of multi-housing developments were being refused in north Kerry, in villages such as Ballyduff, Causeway and Lixnaw.
Director of environmental services Oliver Ring said new and upgraded facilities were being provided in Sneem, Milltown, Firies, Kilcummin, Barraduff and Rossbeigh and initial designs had been carried out for eight other schemes.
In cases were there was an immediate need for local authority housing, he said, the situation would be examined and it was expected a temporary solution would be found.
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