Friday 28 October 2016

Kerry County Council to lodge complaint with RTE over 'Room to Improve'

Simon Brouder

Published 21/06/2015 | 19:41

Dermot Bannon of Room to Improve, inset Cllr Pat McCarthy
Dermot Bannon of Room to Improve, inset Cllr Pat McCarthy

Kerry County Council is set to write to RTÉ to complain about the popular home improvement show 'Room to Improve'

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The unusual move has been prompted by Cllr Pat McCarthy who tabled a motion at the authority's monthly meeting on Monday expressing his frustration about the programme and others of its type.

Cllr McCarthy told the council that the Room to Improve was failing viewers and the public because, in his view, it didn't give people a true indication of what the planning process entails.

He said that while it was an ongoing problem he was particularly exercised by a Room to Improve episode broadcast by RTÉ on December 19 last in which the designs of property which was being redesigned, rebuilt and improved were changed twice during the course of the project.

However while the plans changed no mention was made of the fact that the owners of the property in question had changed their planning permission, a fact which Cllr McCarthy maintained would give others a highly misleading impression of what is involved in building or renovating a house.

"If people watched that they'll think 'sure all we have to do is hire that man and he'll do all the changes and we won't need planning," said Cllr McCarthy.

He said it was very important that a national TV station would, in all such programmes, make clear what the planning process involves and that permission can be refused for a myriad of reasons.

While he said he had watched subsequent episodes in which planning was referred to Cllr McCarthy said it remains and ongoing problem and he asked management to write to the broadcaster to highlight the issue.

"It's very, very important that national TV would have due respect to all our institutions," he said.

Room to Improve, which is currently in its eighth series, is presented by architect Dermot Bannon on RTÉ One.

RTÉ say the programme features candid coverage of disagreements or problems on site and presents a "warts and all" picture of the realities of managing a building project.

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