Serious issues of concern have arisen in regard to persons objecting to planning permission being granted for developments even though they might be located in opposite sides of the county.
The matter has been highlighted by Cllr John O’Donoghue who asked Kerry County Council to detail what identification checks are made on those submitting planning objections.
He said he was recently made aware of a case where a young couple had an objection lodged against their planning application to build a house but, when the required time elapsed and they found out who the objector was, they were surprised to see it was from someone a very small townland at the other end of the county.
“As events unfolded, it transpired that the person named as the objector had not made the objection and had no knowledge whatsoever of the house even being built,” Cllr O’Donoghue revealed.
He said while he accepts that it is an absolute right of anyone to object to any development they wish, they should not be allowed to hide behind a mask of anonymity.
The Killarney councillor asked for immediate contact to be made with the minister to pass whatever legislation is necessary to ensure anyone objecting to any planning application must provide proper supporting ID.
“It is not my intention to prevent or obstruct, in any way, the right of anyone to object to any development they see fit but, in the interests of fairness, they should be required to put their own name to their objection,” he said.
Cllr O’Donoghue said planning is a complex process which, for a number of years, has been an executive function of the council and not under the remit of politicians but it is only right that everyone gets due process, regardless of whether they are the ones lodging the objection or the one being objected to.
The council has agreed to write the minister with officials outlining the current situation whereby any person or body, on payment of the prescribed fee, may make a submission or observation in writing to a planning authority in relation to a planning application within the period of five weeks of receipt by the authority of the application. Changes to Article 29 of the planning regulations are a matter for the minister.
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