Objection to Grant of Planning Permission
Development: 21 Holiday Homes
Location: Ventry. County Kerry
Planning Ref No. 3198/98
Date of Application: 31/12/98
Friends of the Irish Environmental object to any grant of permission for any development at this location.
We do not believe that the reduction in scale and layout answer the grounds of refusal by An Bord Pleanala which also referred in equal measure to the nature of the development and the proximity to the beach. [PL 008.103176, 21 May, 1998]
Further, the Board's decision referred not alone to the dune habitat but equally to the views of special amenity value, both of which would suffer adverse impacts through any grant of permission at this location.
Confining holiday homes to the existing settlement patterns serves the dual purpose of ecological protection and community reinforcement, central tenets of sustainable development as expressed in national policy documents.
This development would place an large suburban style village in the midst of agricultural land which has been developing according to small scale interventions for generations. The local authority should affirm the county tourism policy which seeks to strengthen existing settlement patterns of tourist centres and locally owned tourism amenities.
This is particularly true at this location on the Dingle Peninsula as it is long established national policy to protect the cultural heritage of Gaeltachta Areas. This protection should seek to preserve as far as possible not only the physical nature of the environment but the balance of the community upon which the language and traditions depend.
It is acknowledged by everyone, and most adamantly by Friends of the Irish Environment, that there must be both planning and economic policy to encourage local people to remain in Gaeltacht (and other) rural areas, which are both fragile and vitally important cultural communities. Turning agricultural land into holiday home developments is a proven method of raising land prices beyond the reach of a local community, destroying any possibility of maintaining cultural cohesion.
The pull into larger cities and towns can only be reversed by carefully targeted planning and economic policies which provide start up money and incentives for local people to develop small scale business appropriate to the sustainable development of their area. Local people in areas like Dingle must retain control over their own local tourism industry. Once that slips from their hands, they have essentially lost the ability to remain in their own place.
For all these reasons we support the local objectors to this project and urge your authority to confirm the decision of An Bord Pleanala by refusing outline permission for any development at this location.
Finally, we attach a copy of our letter to the Minister to the Environment
relating to repeat applications at locations determined to be inappropriate for development by An Bord Pleanala.