Council drafting six-year plan ‘ridiculous’

A former mayor from a soon-to-be-abolished local authority has described, as “ridiculous”, a government direction to formulate a six-year development plan.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan signalled, last year, his intention to dissolve town councils.

Killarney Town Council decided this week to seek a direction from the department on a new 2015-2021 development plan.

Labour councillor Sean Counihan, an ex-mayor, said it was ridiculous to be formulating a plan when the council is to be abolished.

However, town councillors “reluctantly agreed” to consider the new development plan — despite not being able to implement it.

The plan is a blueprint for the town’s development and will affect planning, the type of buildings allowed and uses of land, as well as services, jobs, recreation and amenity spaces.

Town manager John Breen said: “I don’t disagree with the views being expressed but we don’t have an option... Otherwise we will be in breach of the Planning and Development Act.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Sean O’Grady felt the council should proceed with its consideration of a new plan. “We should not give up the ghost,” he insisted.

The meeting also heard that Killarney town may come within the ambit of a new district council.

The council has already made a case to the department to be retained.

A preliminary consultation period for the new plan runs from Mar 21 to Apr 16 and it will later be put on display for public consultation.

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