Councillor calls for removal of seven year occupancy clause

Johnny Healy Rae 3 A councillor has called on Kerry County Council to remove the seven year occupancy clause once it has been served as it has people “tied like a chain”. Cllr Johnny Healy Rae put forward a motion on the issue at the council’s monthly meeting claiming the clause, which applies to one-off rural buildings, was “unjust”. The clause, a part of the County Development Plan, states that homeowners must register the home as their primary residence. If the house is to be sold after seven years, the new owner must give the same undertaking. In response, the council said the clause was in accordance with the County Development Plan which seeks to ensure that holiday or second homes are not permitted in the rural landscape. They added it was “critical for the ongoing and long term sustainability of rural areas that dwellings in these areas are occupied all year round and not for short intermittent periods”. CEO of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell said there is “rigorous examination in individual cases”.