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Tralee Urban District Council -
Annual Report 1999

Activity Levels | Town Profile | Housing | Roads | Water | Planning | Environment | Recreation | Industry

'Our Goal: Tralee Urban District Council in partnership with the community and the statutory and voluntary bodies strives to achieve a cohesive development of the town of Tralee and the provision of modern services to provide a quality environment to those who live, work and recreate in the town of Tralee'


During the year ended 31/12/99, Tralee Urban District Council presided over an increased level of growth and development within the town of Tralee. All Council services including Roads, Water Supply, Planning and Housing saw an increased level of activity in accordance with the unprecedented level of development of the town.

Revenue Expenditure8,105,0008,571,466
Capital Expenditure4,305,0003,421,482
Rate in the pound51.7553.78

What will 2000 Bring?

Tralee Urban District Council is faced with a number of challenges and opportunities heading into the new millennium. The need for a continuous house building programme is presently being curtailed by the lack of available building land and this particular problem must be addressed in order to adequately provide for the housing needs of those currently assessed as in need of housing. In the area of environmental and waste management, new practices and technologies are being developed and will be taken on board by the Council.

Our Aim For 2000

The aim of Tralee Urban District Council for the year 2000 is to further enhance the town of Tralee through its various services and to provide an improved working and living environment for the residents of the town. New legislation, both the Planning and Development Bill and the Local Government Bill which has been recently published, will impact on the functions of the Local Authority and on the delivery of its services to the public.


Tralee currently has a population of almost 22,000 and is the largest town in Munster outside of the cities of Cork, Limerick and Waterford. It is the county town of Kerry and the main administrative, commercial, industrial, shopping and services centre of the county.

Council Members

  • Cllr. John Blennerhassett
  • Cllr. Martin Ferris
  • Cllr. Ted Fitzgerald
  • Cllr. Cathal Foley
  • Cllr. Norma Foley
  • Cllr. Tommy Foley
  • Cllr. Bríd McElligott-Rusk
  • Cllr. Miriam McGillicuddy
  • Cllr. Terry O'Brien
  • Cllr. Risteard Pierse
  • Cllr. Maeve Spring
  • Cllr. Johnny Wall

Senior Staff

Town ClerkMichael McMahon
Town EngineerWalter Walsh
Executive EngineersJohn Sheehan and Tim McSwiney
Administrative Officers   John Breen and John McCarthy
AccountantDavid Muckian


'Our Goal: To ensure as far as practicable that each household has a suitable dwelling at a rent or price which is affordable'

The Council's Capital Allocation for housing activities amounted to 3.29 million, with a new starts/acquisitions allocation of 40. The 50-house scheme at Killeen was completed and tenanted in June and 10 bungalows at Gallowsfield were completed during December. Work is ongoing at the 6 houses at Strand Road and construction of houses at Mitchel's Road, Cloghers and Ballinorig is expected to commence early in 2000. Two privately owned houses were purchased.

Housing Construction Programme 1999

 New ConstructionAcquisitionsTotal
In progress at 01/01/9966167
Approved Starts for 199938240
Completed in 199960161
Due to commence early 200044246

The provision of additional bedroom(s) to rented local authority houses, to assist households living in overcrowded conditions was progressed during the year. Work on one house was completed and was in progress on another three.

Work under the Remedial Works Scheme was completed at Caherina Cottages. The fifth and final stage of the Mitchel's Crescent Remedial Works Scheme was progressed during the year and is expected to be completed in 2000.

Social Action Plan - Mitchel's Crescent Area

Work progressed during the year on the implementation of the Social Action Plan for the Mitchel's Crescent/St. Martin's Park area with the development of a Family Resource Centre at St. Anthony's, Mitchel's Road. Following extensive preparatory work, the pre-school facility was opened at the Centre in December 1999. During the year the Garda Siochana also committed a full-time Community Garda to the area, who utilises an office at the Centre with the provision of a Community Policing Service. The Local Employment Service also utilises the accommodation within the Centre to provide a service to those seeking employment in the area. Progress was also made during the year for the physical improvement of the area with boundary walls constructed and ongoing liaison with residents in the area towards the improvement both socially and physically of the area. It is anticipated that further educational projects will be developed and that work towards the development of an integrated residents association to progress the development will be progressed.

Twenty four casual vacancies arose in the Council's rented stock, while thirty one houses were sold under the Tenant Purchase Scheme. The rented housing stock at 31st december 1999 comprised 980 houses.

A revision of the Council's Housing Priority List was carried out during 1999 and was completed in August, with 308 households qualified for housing. Applicants are deemed eligible for housing for three, two or one bedroomed houses, depending on household circumstances.

Breakdown of Qualified Applicants
  • Family - 50
  • 2 Bedroom - 161
  • 1 Bedroom - 97

Provision of Halting Sites

The Council progressed the provision of a residential caravan park for Travellers at Dingle Road during the year. Through the Council's active policies with regard to Traveller accommodation, the incidents of families living on the roadside has been progressively eliminated.

Registration of Private Rented Dwellings

Local Authorities are requested to put in place arrangements to ensure the effective implementation of the following regulations:

  1. Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations, 1993
  2. Housing (Rent Books) Regulations, 1993 and
  3. Housing (Registration of Rented Houses) Regulations, 1996
In this regard, Tralee UDC holds a register of private rented dwellings, which is available for public inspection.

No. of houses registered at 31st December 1999:   683
No. of landlords of registered houses:   262

Housing Maintenance

The Council is responsible for major structural repairs to houses. A total of 375,000 was expended on Housing Maintenance during 1999, which averages 383 per house. Additional funding of 70,500 was secured to replace the front doors of 57 Old Persons Dwellings with PVC door and window units, with work commencing towards the end of the year, and expected to be completed by early 2000.


'Our Goal: To provide and maintain urban roads within Tralee Town, adequate parking facilities and effective traffic management'

Killeen Road

Work on the upgrading of Killeen Road which was co-financed by the EU was completed during 1999. A total road length of 1km has now been upgraded to a high standard with the footpaths being completed during 1999 as well as the provision of a pedestrian crossing along this route.

Clash Road

A grant of 185,000 was received under the EU Co-Finance Scheme for the re-surfacing of the Clash Road. This major artery serving the Industrial Estate at Clash was re-surfaced during the summer. This work provided also for the provision of a pedestrian crossing and of cycle-lanes along this route. A total road length of 1.5km was upgraded at this location. The internal road network at the Clash Industrial Estate was also upgraded and resurfaced in 1999. New signage was also installed in an effort to enhance this industrial facility.


The Programme of Footpath Repair and Renewal with a product known as ecoflex as well as the traditional concrete was continued with a total of 4,000 metres of footpath re-surfaced. The cost of this programme amounted to 90,000.

Public Lighting Refurbishment

The Council is responsible for the provision of lighting at some 1,200 public lights throughout the town. A major upgrading of the Public Lighting System in the Shanakill Estate was undertaken during the year.

Traffic Management

The implementation of the Tralee Traffic Management Plan which had been commenced in 1998 was continued. This saw further improvements to a number of key junctions in the town with the provision of a new roundabout at the junction of Ashe Street/North Circular Road. The provision of a pedestrianised area at the Mall and the Square, with new paved areas, street furniture and tree planting has received much favourable comment and has enhanced shopping comfort in the town centre.


'Our Goal: To provide potable water supply to all households commercial and industrial premises in Tralee and to operate the waste water treatment plant to the highest standard in order to protect Tralee Bay for all its beneficial uses'

Water Conservation

In 1999 daily water consumption in the town averaged 13,500 m³. In June 1999 a joint proposal on behalf of Kerry County Council, Tralee UDC and Killarney UDC for a water conservation project on the Central Regional Water Scheme was submitted to the Department of the Environment and Local Government and sanction to proceed further is awaited.

Tralee Sewerage Scheme

The new Waste Water Treatment Plant for the town of Tralee, located at Lohercannon, which was developed at a capital cost of 13.5 million was officially opened by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Mr. Noel Dempsey, on the 14th May 1999. The plant treats 11,000 m³ of waste water on a daily basis. The annual running cost of the plant in 1999 was 300,000. In order to defray this cost, revenue of 200,000 was received by way of charges for waste water which were levied on commercial and industrial premises. The Council applies the 'polluter pays principle' to its charges for these waste water facilities.


'Our Goal: To protect and enhance the amenities and landscape of the town of Tralee through quality sustainable development'

The goal of the Planning Department of Tralee Urban District Council is to achieve the objectives set out in the Development Plan for the town, which was adopted in December 1996. The Plan has set the framework for the physical growth of Tralee, so that development may take place in a sustainable, co-ordinated and orderly manner, while at the same time, conserving its intrinsic character.

Activity Levels

Tralee Urban District Council received 249 planning applications in 1999. This compares with 250 applications in 1998. The following is a breakdown of the cetegories of development involved:

Dwellings101            102
Domestic Extensions63            55
Commercial Development            59            68
Advertising Structures3            10
Miscellaneous23            15

The 101 applications received in 1999 in respect of dwellings consisted of:
Permission:   233 houses and 29 apartments
Outline:   212 houses
Approval:   72 houses

This compares with the following received in 1998:
Permission:   183 houses and 41 apartments
Outline:   230 houses
Approval:   77 houses

Statistics In Relation To Planning Decisions
 Year 1999Year 1998
Granted:   232   229
Refused:   5   10
Issued within 12 months:   155   126

Significant Planning Applications/Decisions Made During 1999

One of the most significant planning decisions made during 1999 was the decision on the 26th November 1999 of An Bórd Pleanála to grant permission to M/s. Boyle Bros. (Const.) Ltd. for new vehicular access from N21 Road, new vehicular access from the new roundabout formed on the Killerisk Road, and permission for site development works for approximately 100 bedroom hotel, tavern, car showrooms, sports pavilion, mixed use development consisting of retail warehouse park, department store, supermarket, builders providers, garden center, sports ground, car parking, site development and landscape works on a 21 hectare site at Manor West.

The planning permission granted by Tralee Urban District Council had been appealed to An Bórd Pleanála by third parties and was the subject of an Oral Hearing held in the Town Hall. It is anticipated that the new development will provide 300 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs. The overall cost of the development is estimated at 25 million.

Other significant planning applications/decisions made during 1999 were as follows:

What Will The Year 2000 Bring?

The year 2000 will bring many changes for planning authorities. New legislation such as the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1999 regarding the protection of Architectural Heritage; the Architectural Heritage (National Inventory) and Historical Monuments (Misc. Provisions) Act 1999; and the Local Government (Planning and Development) (No. 2) Regulations regarding the protection of architectural heritage, will place increasing pressure on the staff and resources of planning authorities. Planning Authorities will be obliged to compile a Record of Protected Structures for inclusion as part of the Development Plan. There will also be an obligation on the Authority:

Tralee UDC will also commence its review of the Development Plan. The current Plan will expire on 16th December 2001. New regulations in relation to residential density will have to be taken into account when formulating the new Development Plan and any Action Area Plans.

Action Area Plans
Tralee UDC engaged the services of Brady Shipman Martin to produce Action Area Plans for the following:
  • Manor West
  • Boherboy
  • Ballyard/Cloghers (last reviewed in 1982)
  • Tralee Town Centre
The purpose of these plans is to ensure that these areas are developed in an integrated and cohesive manner and will form part of the overall Development Plan for the town. The Council hopes to advance development of all areas in accordance with these plans.

Tralee L.U.T.S.
In late 1999 Colin Buchanan and Partners and Ryle Hanley, Consulting Engineers assisted by Brady Shipman Martin were appointed to carry out a Land Use and Transportation Study for the town of Tralee and its environs. This study is designed to look at the overall development of the town within a 20-year framework and to bring forward proposals on how this development will take place and how it will be managed. Initial work on the project was due to take place in early 2000 with the final report due to be published in March 2001. This report will inform the future development and direction of the town.

New Legislation

The Local Government (Planning and Development) Bill 1999, if enacted, will have significant implications for local authorities. Part V of the Bill deals with Social and Affordable Housing and places an obligation on planning authorities to prepare housing strategies for inclusion as part of the Development Plan to enable planning authorities to ensure that sufficient and affordable housing is provided in its area as part of the overall supply of housing.

This legislation also heralds changes in relation to exempted development, objections and appeals, making of local area plans, enforcement procedures, environmental impact assessment, and compensation.

Serviced Land Initiative

Increased building programmes will be encouraged under the Serviced Land Initiative. This initiative is intended to open up land for residential development by providing services before development commences. Tralee UDC has applied for and been granted almost 1 million funding for five areas in the town under the second allocation by the Department (15 million). This will lead to the eventual construction of approximately 1,500 housing units. This will have a major impact on the provision of housing in Tralee.

The Council has entered into a contract with Griffin Brothers Ltd. in the amount of 482,972.20 in respect of the Cahermoneen and Knockancuig sections of this scheme. Contract documents are nearing completion in relation to the Ballyard section of the scheme.

As a result of the decision to grant permission to M/s. Boyle Bros. (Const.) Ltd. for their mixed use development at Manor (referred to above), the Manor section of this scheme will not now go ahead as the developers will be carrying out the necessary extensions to the sewerage and water system.

Urban Renewal

In March 1998 an Integrated Area Plan was submitted to the Department of the Environment and Local Government for inclusion in the proposed new Urban Renewal Scheme. The following areas were granted designation in 1999:

  • John Joe Sheehy Road/Boherbee
  • The Market Area
  • The town centre (Denny Street, The Square, Day Place)
  • Lee Valley/Ballymullen


'Our Goal: To enhance the environment for the present generation and to protect it for future ones'

Plans for a major improvement of the town centre, which had been prepared in late 1998, were further developed during the year. The Council considered a report which had been prepared by Brady Shipman Martin, Planning Consultants, on the possibilities for the development of this area. At year's end these proposals were being considered.

Pilot Compost Project

In May 1999 Tralee UDC in co-operation with Kerry County Council commenced a pilot composting initiative. This project provided for the supply of some 2,000 compost bins to householders in the town. The organic waste which is separated by the housholder and placed in the bin is collected on a fortnightly basis and transported to the landfill facility at Muingaminnane. It is then stacked and allowed to compost for some time. At year end the pilot project was proving very successful with the compost by product proving to be of very high quality. The environmental awareness generated has been of benefit also.


'Our Goal: To provide recreational and tourist facilities in the town for resident and visitor alike'

Parks, Open Spaces

The Urban District Council commenced re-generation of the Nuns Wood at Oakpark as a secondary town park. During the year major tree planting took place in this area with the assistance of the Urban Afforestation Scheme.

Tralee Town Park is one of the jewels in the crown of Tralee and was again splendid during the summer months with the Rose Garden in full bloom.

Tourism Attractions

1999 was a successful year for the Kerry County Museum and Geraldine Experience located at the Ashe Memorial Hall, Tralee. The facility attracted over 80,000 visitors in 1999. The Urban District Council undertook a major re-development expansion and refurbishment of the shop facility at the museum during early 1999 and this new facility was officially opened by the then Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Jim Finucane on 17th May 1999. This expanded shop facility has proved quite a successful development with the spend per head having increased from 2.00 in April 1999 to 5.40 by year end.

Work progressed during the year on the Jeanie Johnston Visitor Shipyard at Blennerville. This ship project is a key element of the Tralee Development Plan which has as its centrepiece the construction of a full size sailing replica of the famous Kerry immigrant barque, the Jeanie Johnston (1847 to 1858). Office and visitor buildings were completed during the year and the visitor facility and associated shop attracted large numbers of additional visitors to the town.

Work on the building of the ship progressed at pace during the year with shipwrights from both North and South working together to complete the replica wooden ship. At year end work was progressing well towards projected launch in May 2000.

Tralee Ship Canal

The Office of Public Works progressed the restoration of the Tralee Blennerville Ship Canal during the year with the dredging of the canal having been completed. The next stage in the re-generation of the canal, the construction of a swing bridge at Blennerville, is due to commence early in the year 2000.


Tralee Urban District Council in an effort to attract new industries to Tralee worked with the Industrial Development Agencies towards this goal during the year. The internal road network of the Clash Industrial Estate was re-surfaced during the year and new signage was provided at the entrance to the Estate. During 1999 the Amann Corporation moved into the vacant Klienhaus building at Clash Industrial Estate and the proposed dye and fibre processing facility will generate extra employment. Work continued on the development of the Tralee Technology Park at Dromtacker, Tralee in conjunction with the development of a campus for the Tralee Institute of Technology.

Tralee Urban District Council can be contacted at the Town Hall, Princes Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Ph: (066) 71 21633 Fax: (066) 71 24620.