Kerry councillor says rural settlement policy depriving people from building homes

Domnick Walsh

A Kerry councillor says the county’s rural settlement policy is depriving people from building homes.

Maura Healy-Rae says she knows of two cases, where people haven’t officially sought planning permission because the council’s guidelines would deem them ineligible.

The independent councillor says one couple have been renting in an area for three years, have permanent jobs and want to build and live in the area.

She said a second case involves a man who wants to build on land owned by his neighbour but can’t because it’s an area under intense urban pressure, and rules mean only a direct family member to the landowner can build there.

Council management say the councillor’s claims don’t reflect the position on the ground, and that the policy has been well debated in the chamber in the past.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae says these cases are grossly unfair, and she wants the regulations reviewed.