Could restrictions on 'outsiders' getting planning in rural areas be lifted?
The Irish county with some of the most stringent planning restrictions on one-off housing will have to immediately revise its county development and local area plans and loosen up planning restrictions, councillors have said.
The warnings are being sounded in the wake of a ruling from the European Court of Justice which found that locals only type clauses are contrary to European law.
Thousands of holiday and second homes were built in the Kerry countryside during the so-called boom and zoning in Kerry has been engineered to prevent “urban generated pressure,” with a complete ban on outsiders in the rural settlement strategy in pressurised areas under the 2015-2021 county development plan.
There is a complete ban too on one-off holiday and second homes in the countryside, while holiday homes are confined to villages to protect the landscape and to try to undo some of the sporadic deterioration of the boom.
Occupancy clauses of least seven years are a condition of planning for applicants.
People from adjacent townlands can fall into the 'outsider' category, such are the restrictions under the county development and local area plans, councillors say.
People, although originating from the area, who are not working locally have no hope of planning in the countryside under current restrictions.
Killarney Independent councillor Donal Grady who two weeks ago drew management’s attention to the ruling said the development plans will have to be changed “immediately”. And he fears the council may be sued by applicants who were turned down for planning – or people who wanted to sell sites to get out of financial difficulty.