Planning applicants who are living with a lifelong or life-limiting medical condition will now have this considered as part of their application for one-off housing in rural areas.
ianna Fáil Cllr Niall Kelleher proposed the condition be inserted into the Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028 during the draft discussions in July.
Cllr Kelleher said Kerry County Council (KCC) initially opposed the recommendation on the grounds it already considers each applicant’s circumstances on an individual basis.
The Minister for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, recently wrote to KCC requesting it change sections of the Draft Kerry County Development Plan, as voted on by councillors at the July meeting.
However, as Minister Burke made no reference to the lifelong or life-limiting medical proposal as a condition of planning, it now becomes part of the County Development Plan for a six-year term.
Cllr Kelleher said it is necessary for people who can demonstrate a lifelong or life-limiting condition to be given priority to live adjacent to, for example, immediate family as this is both necessary and beneficial.
Cllr Kelleher said he has dealt with constituents who have faced this problem when applying for planning.
He cited one case where An Bord Pleanála expressed sympathy with an applicant seeking planning permission, but the [former] Kerry County Development Plan did not allow for planning criteria based on a lifelong or life-limiting needs.
“The County Development Plan will now allow for this. These people are entitled to apply for planning in the area either where they reside, or where they have strong links to. I have dealt with a few cases where this has come up,” said Cllr Kelleher.
“I originally proposed this at a full [council] meeting when it went to a vote and we got it passed in the draft. KCC management said at the time it was in breach of national strategy, which it wasn’t.
“When it went before the Minister and Office of Planning Regulator, they have obviously now accepted my proposal,” he said.