• Making and Review of County Development Plan
• Processing of planning applications
• Enforcement of planning conditions and control of unauthorised developments
• Development levies
• Caravan and camping licences
• Planning property searches
• Pre-planning advice and consultations
• Urban Renewal
• Conservation Grant Scheme for Protected Structures
Making and Review of County Development Plan
Kerry County Council like all planning authorities is obliged under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts, 2000 to 2010, to undertake a review of its existing Development Plan every five years. The current Development Plan was formally adopted in April 2009.
The Plan covers County Kerry but excludes the Tralee Town Council, Killarney Town Council and Listowel Town Council. The Plan is a blueprint for Council policies in relation to the use and development of land, and for development within the County. The Plan is formulated with the following broad aims:
a) To facilitate orderly and economic development in the light of future development demands
b) To help secure the optimum utilisation of State and Local Authority resources
c) To protect, conserve and enhance the environmental quality of the County
d) To provide for the safe and convenient movement of vehicles and people
e) To provide infrastructural improvement to meet the future development requirements of both private and public developers
f) To inform the public of the likely event of the pattern and form of future development
g) To provide specific guidance for control of development
h) To encouraged balanced growth within the county by avoiding over-dependence on any one sector
i) To encourage developments within the county which are guided by the principles of sustainability
The review/preparation of the plan is undertaken in accordance with prescribed procedures. The procedures involve the preparation of a draft plan, which is published to allow a period of public consultation. Any observations/objections are then considered by the Council before the formally adoption of the new Development Plan.
In addition to the statutory Development Plan the Council prepares local plans for the development of other areas of the County. While not being statutory plans, the local plans outline the objectives of the Council for such areas and are invaluable in the control of the area’s overall development.
Processing of Planning Applications
The Planning and Development Act 2000-2010 places an obligation to obtain planning permission for development defined under the planning legislation. The application process for planning is set out in the Planning & Development Regulations 2001-2011. The applications are accepted by post or at the public counter in the Planning Department at Council Headquarters. Applications are assessed in accordance with the statutory provisions and having regard to the proper planning and development of the area and the provisions of the County Development Plan.
Members of the public may inspect an application at the public counter in the Planning Department. Members of the public can then make observations or objections to it, within 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the application, subject to the payment of a fee of €20.00
The formal decision on applications is a function of the County Manager having regard to reports prepared by the administrative and technical staff of the Council. The applicant or a third party may appeal a decision of the Council or any conditions attached to such decisions to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks.
Application forms, site notices and various guidance leaflets are available on request.
The Planning Department also offers a 'while you wait validation' service. This service is available for planning applications for up to five dwelling houses, agricultural developments, garages and extensions. The applications will be checked by both our technical and administrative staff to ensure the application is valid. If valid, the application will be processed. If invalid the application will be returned to the applicant, giving the reasons for invalidation.
Enforcement of Planning Conditions and Control of Unauthorised Developments
Our team of Planning Enforcement Officers investigates complaints on unauthorised developments.The Council is empowered to pursue complaints in respect of non-compliance with planning permissions and unauthorised developments. The Council is empowered to pursue legal proceedings in such cases and in cases where developments generally do not conform to planning conditions. The legislative provision for enforcement is contained in Part XIII – Sections 151-164 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2010.
Where permission is granted subject to the provision of a bond by the developers, the Planning Department will require satisfactory evidence of the existence of such a bond before approving the commencement of development.
There are three types of levies which may be conditioned as part of permission:
1) A contribution in respect of Public Water Infrastructure and facilities benefiting the development
2) A contribution in respect of sewerage infrastructure and facilities benefiting the development
3) A special levy e.g. contribution towards road improvement works
Before the development is commenced the developer shall lodge with the Planning Authority a Bond in an amount to be stipulated by the Planning Authority, coupled with an agreement to empower the Local Authority to apply such security or part thereof to the satisfactory completion of any part of the development. Such Bond will be increased from 1st January each year, and annually thereafter in line with the Wholesale Price Index for Capital Goods, Building and Construction as published by the Central Statistics Office to the value pertaining at the time of payment. The Bond shall be from an approved Financial Institution as may be acceptable to the Planning Authority to secure the provision and satisfactory completion and maintenance of roads, footpaths, water supply, septic tank and drainage required in connection with the proposed development. The Bond shall remain in place for a period of 5 years and 6 months from the date of grant of permission, or, until such time as the development has been completed to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority in accordance with the conditions of the planning permission granted (whichever is the sooner).
Where permission is granted subject to the setting up of a Management Company, it will be necessary for the applicant/developer to submit a Section 47 agreement to deal with the ongoing management and maintenance of the development. The Section 47 agreement shall provide for the establishment of a management company, whose legal status shall be proved to be adequate (Act of Interpretation and Articles of Association for the Management Company must also be submitted).
Planning Property Searches
The Planning Department carries out planning property searches on payment of prescribed fees. This service facilitates persons wishing to dispose of, or, acquire property or clarify the development potential of existing property.
Pre-Planning Advice and Consultation
The Council encourages developers to seek pre-planning advice and consultation. All subsequent applications are processed on their merits having regard to the statutory provisions. In addition to the office-based pre-planning service, applications for single housing in the rural area of the county may also avail of the on-site pre-planning service, now operated on a countywide basis. To initiate this process, applicants should contact the Planning Authority for an application form and supporting documentation. This service is intended to facilitate, in as far as possible, local people wishing to build on their own land. The service is provided on a without prejudice basis.
The Planning Department has been involved in the preparation of Integrated Area Plans for a number of areas in the County as part of the Urban Renewal Scheme (1998) promoted by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Conservation Grant Scheme for Protected Structures
The Planning Authority operates the Conservation Grant Scheme for Protected Structures, on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The objective of this scheme is to assist the owner or occupier of a structure, which is protected because of its architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest to undertake conservation works on such structure.
There is no automatic right to a grant under the scheme. Each local authority is allocated a fixed amount of money for a calendar year to meet grant payments. Accordingly, grant applications are prioritised each year within available resources and in accordance with the terms set out by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Qualifying works would, among other things, include: -
a) works necessary to secure the stability of a structure or part of a structure,
b) works necessary to make a structure weather-proof or damp-proof ,
c) works necessary to conserve or repair external walls or internal features.
This Scheme is operated on an annual basis (at the discretion of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) and further details can be obtained from the Forward Planning Section.