Kerry development plan aims to support small local businesses

A county development plan for Kerry will be supportive of small indigenous industries, it was stated yesterday.

Kerry development plan aims to support small local businesses

Job creation will be facilitated and it will be “a positive unrestrictive type of plan”, said Paul Stack, senior planning engineer with Kerry County Council.

“Development is the overriding message in the plan,” said Mr Stack.

“It is very much up to ourselves in Kerry to get employment for our people. The focus will be on developments in rural areas that give employment.’’

Council members have started discussions on a development plan for the period 2015-2021.

Improvement of the transport infrastructure, as well as development of a technological university at the Institute of Technology, Tralee, in conjunction with Cork Institute of Technology, were highlighted as priorities.

Fenit Port and Kerry Airport were also pinpointed by Fine Gael councillor Jim Finucane as other important facilities.

He said Fenit should be promoted as a service base for offshore oil and gas exploration, while every effort should be made to ensure the continuation of the Government public service obligation (PSO) grant, which aids regional services at Kerry Airport.

“The maintenance of the PSO grant is crucial,” said Mr Finucane. “We’ve seen Galway Airport close, which shows there are airports that have not survived,”

Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae emphasised the importance of the long-awaited Macroom bypass and said there was a need for policies to help rural towns and villages.

Fianna Fáil councillor John Brassil called for a planning matrix that would outline what is and is not allowed.

There were several calls for improved broadband, but mayor Seamus Cosai Fitzgerald said a controversial rule in the current county development plan that did not allow telecoms masts within 1km of houses, schools, hospitals and other buildings was a major obstacle.

“Until such time was we decide to change the 1km rule, we will have broadband problems,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

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