Reply To: Does Kerry have a planning system?

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Paul Clerkin

in The Kerryman this week….

Kerry’s mayor attacks architects

By Aidan O’Connor

MAYOR of Kerry Ned O’Sullivan has defended the role of local councillors in the planning process and hit out at architects, claiming that “they have an awful lot to answer for”.

Mayor O’Sullivan launched a scathing attack on architects after an online centre for architecture found that over 55 per cent of people in Kerry feel that the planning system is in chaos and should be supervised by a government department.

These findings come from a poll held on the internet by, after county councillors in Kerry unanimously decided to delist an early 19th-century house at Valentia – against the advice of planners and consultants. asked readers: “Does Kerry have a planning system?” and published their response on September 27 last.

Results found that 0 per cent of people found that the planning system functions perfectly and gives people what they want. A total of 8.87 per cent of respondents felt that, like all other systems, mistakes are made, while 35.47 per cent felt that it is worse than most planning systems, and a Kerry joke. Over 55 per cent of people described the system as chaotic and felt it should be changed or supervised by the Department of the Environment. Just 0.49 per cent of respondents held no opinion.

Mayor O’Sullivan defended the planning system in Kerry and said that the website which contained the findings of the survey did not belong to any established architectural organisation.

“Architects have an awful lot to answer for,” he said, claiming that many of the worst aspects of planning are attributed to architects and their designs.

He went on to say that, as in the case of Dungail House in Valentia, jut because a building is old does not mean that it has to be preserved.

In relation to suggestions that councillors should have nothing to do with the planning process, Mayor O’Sullivan said that regulations provided that councillors only have limited powers and functions when it comes to planning. He said that these powers were adequate, and only as good as the way individual councillors used them.

He acknowledged that some councillors had abused their planning powers in recent months, particularly with the use of Section 140 motions which gives councillors the power to force Kerry County Council to reverse a planning decision against the advice of its own planners.

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