Draft Ministerial Direction in accordance with Section 31(7) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) on the making of the Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028
Notice of Draft Direction by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage as regards the making of the Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028
Notice is hereby given that on 12th August 2022, Kerry County Council received notification from the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage of his intention to issue a Direction pursuant to Section 31 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), consequent to a recommendation made to him by the Office of the Planning Regulator under Section 31 AM(8) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).
The Draft Ministerial Direction related to the adoption of the Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028. This Draft Ministerial Direction is now placed on public display for a period of two weeks, whereby submissions can be made to the Planning Authority with regard to the Draft Direction.
The Planning Authority is directed to take the following steps:
- Reinstate Map 12.4 of Volume 1 and Map 5 of Volume 4 to that of the draft Plan (amended under MA 12.9);
- Amend the reinstated Map 12.4 of Volume 1 and Map 5 of Volume 4 to change the designation of all areas identified as ‘Open-to-Consideration’ to ‘Permitted in Principle’;
Amend the reinstated Map 12.4 of Volume 1 and Map 5 of Volume 4 to designate the following areas as ‘Permitted in Principle’:
- those areas of the county identified as ‘areas for further assessment’ in Map 6.25 of the Wind Zoning Methodology (Appendix 6 of the Development Plan) and identified as of ‘Low/Medium’ or ‘Medium’ visual sensitivity in the Landscape Review (Appendix 7 of the Development Plan); and
- those areas identified as practical resource constraints relating to the 1km buffer zone identified for each settlement in the Wind Zoning Methodology;
- Replace references to ‘Open-to-Consideration’ with ‘Permitted in Principle’ throughout Volume 1 and 4 of the Development Plan consistent with a. and b. above;
- Delete material amendments MA 14.20 and 14.21.
Explanation of steps a.-d. in relation to wind energy:
The 'permitted in principle' layer has also been added to the Kerry County Development 2022-2020 web map viewer which allows for a comparison with other layers.
Reasons stated for the Draft Direction:
I. Pursuant to section 31(1)(ba)(i)
The Kerry County Development Plan 2022-2028 is inconsistent with the policy objectives of the National Planning Framework, specifically NPO 55, which states that it is an objective to ‘promote renewable energy use and generation at appropriate locations…..to meet national objectives towards achieving a low carbon economy by 2050’, and the requirements for the planning authority to comply with, and the development plan to be consistent with, the aforementioned National Policy Objective under sections 10(1A) and/or 12(11) read in conjunction with section 12(18);
II. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
Introduces a mandatory 1km setback distance for wind turbines from settlements through the Wind Zoning Methodology which significant constraint was not included as a material consideration in the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Reports when taking into account likely significant effects on climatic factors.
III. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
The Development Plan does not have adequate regard to Ministerial Guidelines issued under Section 28 of the Act, specifically the requirement under the Wind Energy Development Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2006) that the development plan must achieve a reasonable balance in responding to overall Government Policy on renewable energy, enabling the wind energy resources of the planning authority’s area to be harnessed in a manner that is consistent with proper planning and sustainable development in order to provide a plan-led context to the assessment of individual wind energy development proposals. Specifically, the Development Plan as made, whilst informed by a step-by-step analysis of areas suitable for wind energy (or sieve analysis), the planning authority in conducting the analysis did not have adequate regard to section 3.5 of the guidelines. Specifically, in determining ‘the most suitable location for wind energy development’ the planning authority did not apply the landscape sensitivity ratings determined by the planning authority in its Landscape Review and provided no or no adequate reasons as to why the outcome of the review could not be implemented. Specifically, the Development Plan as made does not identify in the Development Plan maps key areas where there is significant wind energy potential and where, subject to criteria such as design and landscape planning, natural heritage, environmental and amenity considerations, wind energy development will be acceptable in principle.
IV. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
The Development Plan as made identifies, through material amendment MA 12.9, land where wind energy development is ‘Open-to-Consideration’ which was determined as unsuitable for wind energy development in the Wind Zoning Methodology carried out by the planning authority, and for which the SEA Environmental Reports concluded that significant effects could not be ruled out and the Natura Impact Reports concluded that potential direct and/or indirect adverse impacts on the conservation objective of European sites could not be ruled out;
V. Pursuant to section 31(1)(ba)(i)
The Development Plan as made does not support the achievement of the national strategic outcomes contained in the National Planning Framework, specifically NSO 2, to maintain ‘the strategic capacity and safety of the national roads network’;
VI. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
The Development Plan as made does not have adequate regard to Ministerial Guidelines issued under Section 28 of the Act, specifically the requirement under the Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012) that the development plan must ‘implement the policy … to avoid the creation of any additional access point from new development or the generation of increased traffic from existing accesses to national roads to which speed limits greater than 60 kmh apply … for all categories of development’, and to the limited exceptions provided for under the guidelines. Specifically, the Development Plan as made includes objectives to facilitate and support planning applications for development that will result in the creation of new access points from new development and the generation of increased traffic from existing accesses to national roads to which speed limits greater than 60 kilometres per hour (kmh) apply.
VII. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
Further, the statement under Section 28(1A)(b) attached to the Development Plan as made fails to include information that demonstrates that the planning authority has formed the opinion that it is not possible to implement the policies and objectives outlined at (II), (III) and (VI), above, as contained in the guidelines, because of the nature and characteristics of the area or part of the area and to give reasons for the forming of that opinion and to explain why it is not possible to implement the policies and objectives, contrary to Section 28(1B)(b);
VIII. Pursuant to section 31(1)(c)
No adequate reasons or explanations relating to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area have been provided to explain why the wind energy strategy and the policy for access to national roads are consistent with an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
IX. Pursuant to section 31(1)(a)(i)(II) and section 31(1)(b)
The Minister is of the opinion that the Development Plan has failed to implement a recommendation made to the planning authority by the Office and that the Development Plan as made fails to set out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
A copy of the Draft Direction may be inspected for a period of 2 weeks from 24th August 2022 to 7th September 2022 (inclusive) online at https://consult.kerrycoco.ie/ and at the following locations:
- Kerry County Council, County Buildings, Rathass, Tralee, County Kerry V92 H7VT
- Killarney & Listowel Area Offices
- All public libraries
Written submissions or observations in respect of the Draft Direction may be made to the Planning Authority during the consultation period and are hereby invited from members of the public, children, or groups or associations representing the interests of children and other interested parties. All submissions or observations must be received no later than 7th September 2022 at 11.59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Submissions/Observations can be made via the following options only:
- Online at https://consult.kerrycoco.ie/
- In writing to Damien Ginty, Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Kerry County Council, Rathass, Tralee, Co. Kerry, V92 H7VT.
Submissions should be in ONE medium only i.e. online or hard copy.
All submission or observations made in respect of the Draft Direction, during this period, shall be taken into consideration by the Office of the Planning Regulator before it makes a recommendation to the Minister on the matter.
In respect of making a submission or observation please note the following:
- Submissions/observations should include your name and address, a map (if required for identification purposes) and, where relevant, details of any organisation, community group or company etc., which you represent
- Where possible, please include your name and address on a separate page to the content of your submission in order to assist Kerry County Council in complying with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Your assistance on these issues is appreciated.
- Please note that by giving your contact details you are agreeing to the Council GDPR policy
- In accordance with Section 19 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), all valid submissions received shall be published on the Council website within 10 working days of their receipt and available to view at https://consult.kerrycoco.ie/