AT least 7,000 new homes will be needed across the county by 2028, Kerry County Council (KCC) has heard.
Details of Kerry’s future housing needs were provided to Councillors last week at a special briefing on the draft County Development Plan for 2022 to 2028.
KCC Senior Planning Officer Damien Ginty told the briefing session that, based on census data, Kerry’s population is expected to increase to approximately 166,500 by 2031. Based on that projected growth, housing for over 9,300 people, and 7000 new houses and apartments would be needed in the period of the new County Development Plan.
As Tralee and Killarney are the designated ‘key’ towns in the county, 40 per cent of the land needed for new homes will be zoned in their surrounding areas, with the rest of the housing land to be zoned around the other 71 towns, villages and settlements in the county based on their population, geography, character and infrastructure.
Mr Ginty said populations have declined or stagnated in many areas, and the new development plan will take steps to address this.
In rural areas, priority for housing will be given to the children of farmers and other residents who have spent “a significant portion of their lives” in the area. In the draft plan, this is defined as over seven years.
While the development of new housing will be allowed in rural areas, the council’s preference will be, where possible, to refurbish of existing buildings.
In Gaeltacht areas, 30 per cent of lands zoned for residential development will be reserved for Irish speakers.
Meanwhile, Monday’s monthly meeting of the council heard that the main requirement for social housing in the county is now for one- and two-bed units. Management said that, based on current housing lists, the need for three-bed (and larger) units is now down to about 300, while approximately 2,000 one- and two-bed units are needed.