Michael Healy-Rae denies renovating Tralee property without planning permission, amid protests from locals
Michael Healy-Rae has denied that he is renovating a Tralee property without planning permission, amid protests from locals.
The Independent TD for Kerry was accused of converting the Nancy Myles pub, a property that has been disused for approximately five years, into nine one-bedroom apartments without planning permission.
It is reported that Kerry County Council is now investigating the claims.
The issue arose once locals noticed Mr Healy-Rae had began work on the property last Tuesday.
A source, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that two dozen locals complained to the council over the renovations.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Healy-Rae stated that he wasn't doing anything illegal.
“What I’m doing I’m entitled to do. Anything I’m doing is perfectly authorised."
He stressed that he is not working on the pub, but rather on an adjacent property.
Mr Healy Rae owns the Nancy Myles pub on Murphy’s Terrace as well as the next door residential property.
The Independent TD applied for planning permission on July 12 2017. However, that decision was delayed by six months due to what both Mr Healy-Rae and the Council stated was further information being required.
A local man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Independent.ie Mr Healy Rae was not entirely truthful on his planning application.
Locals have defied Healy-Rae's statement that the pub has never been flooded, as noted on his planning application, stating that the 2015 Ballymullen floods caused considerable damage.
Mr Healy-Rae told Independent.ie that “all I can tell you is that building has never flooded”.
Many locals have expressed a fear that their community will be "irrevocably changed" by the proposed planning changes.
“I voted for him in the election, and he was seen as an anti-establishment candidate and one of our own," the local man told Independent.ie.
“He’s just let people down. When he bought the place, people here don’t have a problem, they were actually happy. People around here didn’t mind the pub reopening again, because there’s always been a pub there, as long as it’s something respectable. What he’s looking for is bedsits."