Lifetime and life-limiting conditions to consider in the planning process

Planning applicants who live with a permanent 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 that the condition be inserted into the County Kerry Development Plan 2022-2028 during preliminary discussions in July.

Cllr Kelleher said Kerry County Council (KCC) initially opposed the recommendation on the grounds that it was already looking at each applicant’s situation on an individual basis.

Local Government and Planning Minister Peter Burke recently wrote to KCC asking it to amend sections of the draft County Kerry development plan as voted on by councilors at the July meeting.

However, as Minister Burke made no reference to the life-limiting or life-limiting medical proposal as a planning condition, it is now part of the county’s six-year development plan.

Cllr Kelleher said there is a need for people who can demonstrate a permanent or life-limiting condition to be given priority to live next to, for example, immediate family, as this is both necessary and beneficial.

Cllr Kelleher said he has dealt with constituents who have faced this issue when applying for planning.

He cited a case where An Bord Pleanála expressed sympathy with an applicant asking for a building permit, but the [former] The County Kerry Development Plan did not allow for planning criteria based on permanent or life-limiting needs.

“The county development plan will now allow it. These people have the right to apply for planning in the area where they reside or with which they have close ties. I have dealt with a few cases where this has happened, Cllr Kelleher said.

“I originally proposed this [council] meeting when it was put to the vote and we got it adopted in the draft. KCC management said at the time that it was in breach of national strategy, which was not the case.

“When presented to the minister and the office of the planning regulator, they obviously accepted my proposal,” he said.

Louisa R. Loomis