THE green light has been given for the development of a 60-home development in the centre of Rathmore and planners say it will give a new lease of life to a town where the population has remained static for years.
To facilitate the proposal, councillors voted unanimously in favour of a recommendation for a material contravention of the Killarney Municipal District Local Area Plan.
Cllr Niall Kelleher, who informed officials and councillors in advance that he had a one eighth shareholding in the partnership involved the development, didn’t participate in the vote and left the virtual council meeting while it was being discussed to avoid a possible conflict of interest.
In his absence, Mayor Brendan Cronin and Cllrs Michael Gleeson, Donal Grady, Maura Healy-Rae, Niall O’Callaghan and Marie Moloney all voted in favour of the material convention.
The recommendation was to grant permission to the Old Road Partnership to demolish a derelict dwelling house and to construct:
- Six one-bedroom single storey units
- Nine two-bedroom single storey units
- 27 three-bedroom two storey terraced units
- 12 three-bedroom two storey semi-detached units
- Six four-bedroom detached units.
The development, located to the south of the main street in Rathmore at Shinnagh, will use the thermostat construction system and it will require vehicular and pedestrian access, the construction of boundary walls, services and all associated site works.
The meeting heard that the development will incorporate two green areas and it will comply with social and affordable housing requirements.
A previous application for the same site, which sought permission for a total of 315 residential units and two commercial offices, was turned down in 2009.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae asked for a decision on the matter to be delayed as some people didn’t realise that it was coming before the council this week.
She asked could a public information webinar be held as local people were “looking for a little bit more time” to consider the proposals.
Kerry County Council senior planning official, Damien Ginty, stressed, however, that the noticed had been advertised and people had ample opportunity in advance to make submissions. Some actually did so with a number of issues raised and addressed.
He said that the development was “well designed and well considered” and, as it was the first application of its kind in Rathmore for a number of years, it would rejuvenate the town.
“It will bring new residents into the centre of the village,” Mr Ginty stated.
The meeting heard that a statutory time limit applied and there were legal deadlines to be met.
Mayor Brendan Cronin said councillors have been demanding developments of this nature to keep rural towns and villages alive and one such opportunity was now before them.
“It will come to the crunch when we see what way the members will vote,” he said before the recommendation to grant planning was fully endorsed.