Home » Breaking News » Clare councillor – ‘We live in North Munster not North Korea’
Councillor PJ Kelly has condemned planners' ban on in-fill sites which resulted in a young couple being refused planning permission by the Council and An Bord Pleanála.

Clare councillor – ‘We live in North Munster not North Korea’

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

A SERIOUS issue for a number of members of Clare County Council regarding the upcoming county development plan is the fact it contains allocations for growth.

There are concerns that these are going to stymie development in rural Clare, just as remote working becomes commonplace, and this week Councillor PJ Kelly said that certain areas could be totally left behind.

“I asked could we get specific about what will Kilrush get, what will Kilkee get and I was told no, it’ll be the total area. That means if you have a big demand in one corner the whole quota of the allocation could be used up in a term much shorter than the six years.

“Suppose we allocate X to west Clare over six years, but there’s a big demand and it’s used up in three years. That means we can’t grant any further planning permissions,” he said.

The veteran Fianna Fáil councillor said that he had listened to some double speak from Council officials on it, which he said amounted to “wobbling and dodging and kicking around footballs that aren’t there at all.”

Reiterating that certain areas could be left behind, he added, “I live in an area which is rapidly developing, it’s part of the Kilrush area. There will be more planning permissions in my corner than the western corner, and it’s possible that certain corners will develop rapidly and dry up whatever allocation is made.

“To me an allocation means control, if you allocate 100 houses for the area they could be grabbed up in a fraction of the six years.

“What are you going to do for the rest of it? Will we have to amend the plan?”

Allocating limits to growth is not acceptable, he said.

“We live in North Munster not North Korea. I have no problem with projections, I have no problem with expectations, but the use of the word allocations to me suggests control.

“I don’t know any other place in the free world where you have population control. Once you use the word allocation you have building controls, which effectively mean population control.”

He vowed to try and fight the imposition of allocations for growth.. “I certainly won’t be too silent when it comes before us.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.