The county with some of the most stringent planning restrictions on one-off housing will have to immediately revise its plans, councillors have said.

The warnings come due to a ruling from the European Court of Justice which found that “locals-only” type clauses are contrary to European law.

Councillors say people from adjacent townlands can fall into the “outsider” category such are the restrictions under the county development and local area plans.

People although originating from the area but who are not working locally have no hope of planning in the countryside under current restrictions.

Killarney Independent councillor Donal Grady, who recently drew management’s attention to the ruling, said the development plans would have to be changed “immediately”.

He said he feared the council may be sued by applicants who were turned down for planning or people who wanted to sell sites to get out of financial difficulty. “The prohibitions are totally illegal,” he said.

The matter came to light following a meeting of Mr Grady’s Independent councillor grouping, and he and other councillors have taken legal advice and have been told the European ruling is applicable in Kerry and other counties.

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