Planning permission has been refused for a 228 residential housing development in Killarney due to the discovery of bat species.
The proposed development for Killarney town is located on Port Road and St. Margaret's Road.
The planning application was submitted directly to An Bord Pleanála, bypassing Kerry County Council as the project was deemed to be a strategic housing development.
The company behind the development is Portal Asset Holdings Limited.
The proposed development was subject to criticism from local residents and public representatives, however it had the support of Kerry County Council.
A total of 50 submissions were received in relation to the planning application.
Concerns raised included a lack of consultation in relation to the proposed development and the belief that the scale of development is not suitable for Killarney.
While An Bord Pleanála did not consider those concerns an issue, the planning authority did refuse permission for the proposed development.
Inspector Paul O’Brien said the site is suitably zoned for residential development where educational, social and commercial services are available and the location is within walking distance of Killarney town centre.
The reason for refusal was due to the discovery of a number of bat species located within 10km of the development.
The planning authority said the proposed development may result in increased artificial lighting at both the construction and operational phases of the development and may impact on the lesser horseshoe bats that commute along the routes of the Port Road / Deenagh river.
Mr O’Brien stated that the applicant failed to adequately demonstrate that the proposed development would not adversely affect Killarney National Park.
As a result, the strategic housing development has been refused permission.
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