Released: 21 August 2007
Kerry County Council held the highest number of pre-planning consultations in Ireland in 2006, with 2,719 meetings held, according to the 2006 Service Indicators.
In addition, Kerry ranked fourth highest in deciding on planning applications within eight weeks, and came seventh highest in terms of housing rents collected throughout the year.
The Service Indicators, implemented by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, compares the performance of Local Authorities in certain sectors. Data collected by the Department gives a national picture as to areas of service where Councils are excelling, and areas where improvement is needed.
“The Service Indicators don’t show the whole picture in relation to the large amount of work being carried out by Kerry County Council, but in certain areas of service provision they do give an indication of how we are doing in comparison to other Local Authorities, and generally we are very pleased with how we fared,” Kerry County Manager Tom Curran explained.
“Despite the enormous workload they are operating under, having made the fourth highest number of decisions on applications last year, our Planning Department received very favourable ratings.”
The high application rates have continued this year, with 1,353 applications received by Kerry County Council in the first quarter of 2007, the third highest in Ireland, with 1,395 applications received in the second quarter.
Opening hours for the planning office was the second longest in the country, while in the Building Control sector, Kerry came fourth highest in the number of new buildings inspected.
All of the decisions on developments requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment, which were appealed to Bord Pleanala, saw the Council’s decision confirmed.
In Enforcement, Kerry ranked third highest in the number of complaints to the planning enforcement section, but also ranked third highest in the amount of enforcement issues resolved through negotiations.
“While negotiation is the preferable way of solving matters, the fact that Kerry County Council sent out the fifth highest amount of enforcement notices in the county shows that we are not afraid to take action where necessary,” the Manager stated.
“We have invested significant resources into the Enforcement section of Kerry County Council and these statistics show the value of that.”
Elsewhere Kerry ranks fourth highest in the amount of postal motor tax transactions, and had the seventh highest percentage of Housing Rent collected in the county, with 93.1% of total rent collected.
The County ranked sixth in the number of playgrounds facilitated, and ninth in the number of prosecutions for non-payment of litter fines.
Kerry also ranks highly in the provision of recycling facilities and bring banks for glass, cans, used oils and batteries, as well as providing all customers with segregated waste collection.