Move to sanction serial planning objectors fails

An attempt to impose “some sanctions or financial impediment” on serial planning objectors failed at a meeting of Kerry County Council.

The proposed move against An Taisce members was made by Cllr Danny Healy-Rae by way of a formal motion. However, the motion was rejected by the council’s executive after an elected member enquired whether a body with statutory rights, such as An Taisce, could be singled out in such a way.

Mr Healy-Rae’s motion had coincided with a discussion on An Taisce’s review of planning in Ireland during the boom. He said the report should be “rejected” for suggesting Kerry was the fourth worst county for making planning decisions.

The councillor demanded the Department of the Environment impose a sanction on the heritage body.

An Taisce was set up for the purpose of preserving “castles and monuments and ring forts and such” and had, he said, done a good job in that area. But Mr Healy-Rae, who represents the Killarney electoral area, said An Taisce had strayed too much into planning and had been “infiltrated by people sticking their noses into everything”.

His motion was seconded by his son, Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae, who represents the Ring of Kerry electoral area. Mr Healy-Rae Jnr said fees of €1,000 should be imposed on serial objectors whose objections failed.

After a query by Independent councillor Brendan Cronin, director of planning Michael McMahon said the council had no power to impose such a sanction.


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