Kerry council official warns against change to one-off housing policy

A senior county council official has warned councillors to be ‘very, very careful’ about changing the local authority’s policy on one-off housing. Senior planning engineer, Paul Stack was speaking during a debate on the draft County Development Plan for 2015 to 2021. In a report on submissions to the draft plan, the council’s chief executive officer recommends that the current policy on planning permission for one-off houses in Kerry be retained. kerry county council head A large number of submissions before councillors called for planning to be granted to immediate family members on family farms and land holdings, a view supported by several councillors. Senior planning engineer, Paul Stack said that one-off housing was always an emotive issue but that any change to the existing policy should be considered ‘very, very carefully.’ He said that of a countywide housing stock of 72,000, about 38,000 of those were single one-off houses. Paul Stack said that the main reason one-off housing was such a serious issue was that contamination of groundwater was a major problem. He said that four million gallons of effluent were being discharged daily from one-off homes and that one third of private wells in the county are contaminated with e-coli. The plan retains a commitment to facilitate the provision of dwellings for people who are ‘an intrinsic part of the rural community in which they were raised.’ Councillors voted to accept the chief executive’s report and adopted the section of the draft plan dealing with one-off houses and the rural settlement strategy for the county.