Council officials warn against ‘horse trading’ zoned land

Planners are adamant no more land will be zoned for housing in Tralee and Killarney.

A senior Kerry County Council official said that Killarney had enough land zoned “to meet even the most optimistic population projections”.

The disclosure came in response to demands from Killarney county councillors to retain the land already zoned for housing.

Senior planning engineer Paul Stack told a special council meeting in Tralee that a 2011 decision not to allow any further zoning was a “fundamental cornerstone” of planning in regard to both towns.

Killarney currently has 330 acres zoned for housing within its urban boundary, he pointed out, during consideration of a draft Tralee-Killarney hub plan.

But Fine Gael councillor John Sheahan said everything should “not be closed off” and demand continued to exist, with six recently- built houses close to the centre of Killarney sold.

Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae asked that a zoning exchange be made, calling for a transfer of a two-acre residential zoning from Kilcummin to a site at Killarney’s Loreto Rd.

But planning director Michael McMahon warned against “horse trading”, saying there was no rational planning context for that proposal. “We have more land zoned than is needed to meet even the most optimistic population projections,” he said.

Some 1,000 acres, initially earmarked for housing, are to be dezoned in Tralee and Killarney.

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