The Mayor of Kerry says the 1 kilometre rule needs to be reviewed. The controversial rule has been criticised by An Bord Pleanala in the past. The rule banning telecommunications masts from being located within one kilometre of houses, schools, hospitals and workplaces was introduced seven years ago.
Between 2003 and October last year, around 38 planning applications for masts were been refused by Kerry County Council – 25 of these decisions were overturned by An Bord Pleanala. That pattern has been repeated several times in recent months.
Both the County Manager and the Director of Planning recommended the rule be scrapped when the County Development Plan was being debated last year. They said the one kilometre rule was not reflected in any other national policy. However, councillors voted against the advice of management. Mayor Pat Leahy says the rule was adopted by councillors on health and safety grounds but it’s clearly not working.