A Kerry county councillor is calling for an exemption for the families of landowners to allow them to build houses on roads adjoining national primary or secondary routes.

The Spatial Planning and National Roads guidelines, published in 2012, recommend that planning authorities guard against a proliferation of roadside developments accessing national roads with speed limits over 50-60km/h.

Councillor Michael Cahill explained that agencies such as An Bord Pleanála, the Irish Planning Institute, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Office of the Planning Regulator insist that this policy is in the interest of road safety and proper rural development.

The draft Kerry County Development Plan (2022-2028), developed by Kerry County Council, is currently open for public consultation with submissions being accepted until Wednesday (February 23).

The Fianna Fáil councillor and deputy mayor of Kerry said that the draft plan should be amended to allow for an exemption for landowners’ families to the national policy.

Cahill said “it is not credible to expect that people, who already own land, should buy a site or sites elsewhere to build their home”.

“It would be creating a ferocious injustice to expect the daughters and sons of landowners to look elsewhere in the parish, or further afield, to buy a site to build on.

“It’s devaluing the land they already own and putting another obstacle in the way of providing more houses in this country, which is what everybody seems to be calling for,” the councillor stated.

“It is beyond me how people in their ‘ivory towers’ can come up with such nonsense. The reality is that many of the people who grow up in rural Ireland wish to continue to live there and it is flying in the face of all natural justice to force them away from where they were born and reared,” Cahill added.

“I feel particularly annoyed when farmers’ sons and daughters are refused planning permission when using an existing roadway that adjoins a national primary or secondary route,” the councillor outlined.

“I am calling for an exemption on behalf of these ‘children of the land’ to allow them the right to create a home where they have lived since birth. Natural justice demands it,” Cahill concluded.