JOINT SUBMISSION - Tralee

 
JOINT SUBMISSION - Tralee
JOINT SUBMISSION
ON THE

DRAFT REGIONAL SPATIAL & ECONOMIC STRATEGY
FOR THE SOUTHERN REGION
SUBMITTED: 8 TH OF MARCH 2019

SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF:

TRALEE CHAMBER ALLIANCE

KILLARNEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & TOURISM

LISTOWEL CHAMBER ALLIANCE

CASTLEISLAND CHAMBER ALLIANCE

KILLORGLIN CHAMBER ALLIANCE

DINGLE BUSINESS CHAMBER

KENMARE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
JOINT SUBMISSION - Tralee
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

INTRODUCTION

REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS
This submission represents the collective vision and interests of the business community
in Kerry, who are represented through the seven Chambers of Commerce (hereafter
referred to as the ‘Business Representatives’). We welcome the opportunity to respond
to the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES), and to share our views on how
our County of Kerry develops in the context of the Southern Region of Ireland. The
organisations represented in this submission, cover all facets of business interests for
the entire county of Kerry, and include the following:

    •   TRALEE CHAMBER ALLIANCE
    •   KILLARNEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & TOURISM
    •   LISTOWEL CHAMBER ALLIANCE
    •   CASTLEISLAND CHAMBER ALLIANCE
    •   KILLORGLIN CHAMBER ALLIANCE
    •   DINGLE BUSINESS CHAMBER
    •   KENMARE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

CONTEXT
As detailed in the National Planning Framework (NPF), it is the responsibility of the
Regional Assemblies to deliver on ‘effective regional development’ using a ‘place-based’
approach to regional planning and investment.

It is within this context that the Business Representatives of Kerry wish to make our
submission. It is the united belief that the current draft of the RSES is lacking in key
strategic areas regarding the County of Kerry and does not deliver on the current needs
and future ambitions of the County as a whole.

Furthermore, the National Planning Framework (NPF) and subsequent RSES does not
provide for Kerry and its unique demographic as a county. Central to the RSES-Southern
Region’s draft document is the exponential growth of the MASP areas at a rate which
would see these second-tier cities achieve the status and function of capital cities. This
emphasis on the NPF and RSES-Southern Region’s model of development is on the City
areas of Cork, Limerick-Shannon and Waterford, and does not recognise the core
principal of a ‘place-based’ approach for the entire county of Kerry. A county which is
entirely comprised of strong regional towns, rural towns and villages, which currently
operate under the confines of secondary infrastructure links, inadequate broadband and
enterprise development policies. In this context the RSES is a regional strategy for the
Cities in the Southern Region, as opposed to a Strategy for the entire Southern Region.

There is an onus on the RSES to plan for the future growth potential and development of
rural areas, in particular areas of societal importance in Kerry which give our county its
‘sense of place’ and unique cultural heritage.

Additionally, the NPF outlines for the Southwest Region “While employment,
infrastructure and strengthening small towns and rural communities are priorities

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RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

throughout this regional area…there will also be a focus on more balanced and compact,
connected growth. This means that housing development should be based on
employment growth, higher densities, access to amenities and sustainable transport
modes, in order to avoid long-distance commuting patterns and quality of life impacts.”

As per the NPF, there is a duty of care on the RSES to co-ordinate “investment
programmes dealing with social inclusion, rural development and town and village
renewal” for the betterment and protection of all the citizens of our country, not just
those in large urban areas.

Arising from this lack of recognition for the unique nature of Kerry, county Kerry
residents remain largely dependent on economic activity from the indigenous industries
in all sectors, to generate employment.

The Business Representatives responsible for submitting this report reflect the opinions
of significant and sector leading National, International and Global leading companies, a
tourism industry of national and international significance, as well as the interests of
hundreds of small and medium sized businesses in all sectors and industries.

Collectively we are calling for a full re-evaluation of the approach taken to Kerry,
cognisant of the non-exhaustive list of Kerry Recommendations submitted in the
attached submission.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The underlying theme of the RSES-Southern Region document revolves around the focus
on developing ‘compact growth’ within our cities. This principle is in the first instance
inequitable for a County such as Kerry, which does not have a main City within the
County.

There is a significant disparity in terms of geography that merits the RSES-Southern
Region re-evaluating its approach to Kerry. The current draft sets the towns in Kerry out
as commuter ‘feeder’ towns to the MASP regions in Cork and Limerick, without
recognising the crucial role and function these towns play in the region’s economic
development. It is not the intention of this submission to undermine the role any other
county plays in the context of the region, nor is it the intention to minimise investment
into any other part of the region, therefore this submission solely focuses on the
elements required for the county of Kerry. We ask the RSES to specifically outline
strategic objectives that align with the needs of Kerry.

In the opinion of the combined Chambers in Kerry and their members, the current draft
of the RSES-Southern Region document is entirely inappropriate and inadequate for the
county of Kerry as it does not include the crucial strategic policy and infrastructure
requirements this community requires in order to sustain and grow employment in the
county.

We believe that the document completely lacks on comprehension; for the role that
Kerry must play in the development of the region, and it is very evident that there was
little meaningful consultation with Kerry County Council, the HEI and the business
community in preparing the draft. We strongly assert the position that due to this lack of
input, the document as drafted lacks value in the context of Kerry.

Considering this, our submission to the draft RSES has focused primarily on what the
county needs, and noticeably what is absent from the RSES document. The format of our
is in line with the over-arching requirements of the National Planning Framework (NPF)
to delivery on policies, actions and investment to deliver on the 10 National Strategic
Outcomes (NSO). We once again, as a priority, call for a meeting between the RSES-
Southern Assembly team and the Key Stakeholders in the Kerry area, so that together
we can deliver a strategy that accurately reflects the economic needs of the county of
Kerry.

KEN TOBIN – 8TH OF MARCH 2019

CE - TRALEE CHAMBER ALLIANCE

ON BEHALF OF THE AFOREMENTIONED BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS

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SUBMISSION BASED ON THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC OUTCOMES

Section 1.2 of the RSES-Southern Region draft sets out the policy context underpinned
by the NPF’s 10 National Strategic Outcomes (NSO’s) which will be implemented through
the Strategic Investment Priorities (SIP).

Under the context of recognising the unique ‘place based’ analysis of County Kerry, we
would comment on each of the NSO’s as follows:

NSO 1 - COMPACT GROWTH
The Kerry ‘Inter-Urban Cluster’ of Tralee,
Killarney and Killorglin (referenced by Kerry
County Council as the Knowledge-Triangle)
represents a critical mass in Kerry with a
combined population of 77,554 (CSO 2016),
and is a ‘strategic area’ set to support the
economic and population growth of the
county. The core principle of the NPF’s
Compact Growth NSO is to support carefully
managed sustainable growth. The current
classification of a ‘network’ on page 73 of the
draft RSES-Southern Assembly document,
seriously under-values the critical role this
cluster provides for the region. This cluster
fulfils a regional role that is unique in its place
based context to Kerry.

                                               (PICTURED: KERRY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SOUTHERN REGION)

Notwithstanding the special designation of ‘Regional Growth Centre’ afforded to Athlone,
Letterkenny and Sligo in the NPF, reference must be made to page 21 of the NPF, which
clearly states:

“it is emphasised that a settlement that is not specifically identified or for which specific
targets are not set in this national Framework, is by no means precluded from future
growth or investment. This must be considered at a regional and local scale, for which
statutory planning processes exist, taking account of the general context set by the NPF.
This allows for decision-making at regional and local level, which will enable investment
to be properly aligned with planning, in order to achieve the National Strategic Outcomes
identified.”

This clearly establishes a remit for the RSES-Southern Assembly and subsequent Kerry
County Development plan for ‘decision-making at a regional and local level’ respectively
to redress and properly align the strategic importance of the Kerry ‘Inter-Urban Cluster’
of Tralee, Killarney and Killorglin.

In draft form the NPF did not make any suggestions regarding specific towns outside the
five cities Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. It only referred to “large
regionally distributed towns’ to be identified through the Regional Economic and Spatial
Strategy process.” We contest that the inclusion of Sligo, Dundalk, Athlone, Letterkenny

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and Drogheda in the final version of the NPF did not give due recognition to the
significant role the Knowledge Triangle of Tralee-Killarney-Killorglin plays in a regional
context, and usurped the role the RSES was meant to play in identifying these Strategic
Growth Centres.

                                                From the 1st instance the RSES document does
                                                not recognise accurately the demographics and
                                                populations of the three towns in the Inter-
                                                Urban cluster. The report utilises the CSO’s
                                                Small Areas population statistics. This does not
                                                factor in the adjoining villages and population
                                                centres that rely on these three towns for their
                                                education, services and employment. The
                                                boundaries of these three towns extends
                                                beyond the core town centre metro areas into a
                                                highly populated suburban settlement and
                                                satellite village region.

(PICTURED: THE KERRY INTER-URBAN CLUSTER:
KNOWLEDGE TRAINGLE OF TRALEE-KILLARNEY-KILLORGLIN)

Lets not forget this has been a critical ‘call to action’ for over 17 years now. In 2002 the
National Spatial Strategy indicated that the Tralee-Killarney linked hub ‘will capitalise on
the combined capacities of both towns, such as those in third-level education, developing
links between industry and centres of learning, surface and air transport links and key
natural resources such as scenic landscape.’

The Strategy stated that, ‘for the linked-hubs to function effectively, improved local
linkages will be required through the road network and bus-based public transport
options, improved energy and telecommunications and all co-ordinate through the
integrated planning frameworks…’

Significant under-developed serviced residential zoned lands exist within the Inter-Urban
triangle (Knowledge Triangle) of Tralee-Killarney-Killorglin to service a population growth
increase of 40%, which will enable Kerry to offer a viable counter-balance to the Greater
Dublin Area (GDA). In a similar format to the plans outlined in the RSES document for
the development of the MASP areas, the Inter-Urban triangle in Kerry should be afforded
the same level of planning and strategy to enable the potential of the triangle to be
realised.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 1: WE ARE REQUESTING SPECIAL DESIGNATION TO BE PROVIDED WITHIN
THE RSES TO THE INTER-URBAN CLUSTER OF TRALEE-KILLARNEY-KILLORGLIN AS A CRITICAL MASS.
SUCH DESIGNATION SHOULD REFLECT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS CLUSTER AS A ‘REGIONAL
GROWTH CENTRE’ IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE NPF RECOGNISES STRATEGIC LOCATIONS SUCH AS
SLIGO, LETTERKENNY, ATHLONE ET.AL - A STRATEGIC PLAN MUST BE DEVELOPED FOR THE
KNOWLEDGE TRIANGLE IN KERRY, IN CONSULTATION WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS, THAT RESPONDS
TO THE LEAD ROLE THIS INTER-URBAN CLUSTER PROVIDES TO THE REGION.

Listowel is the 2nd largest town in North Kerry (3rd Largest in Kerry), with a population of
4,820 and 1,581 resident workers (CSO 2016). It is a vibrant town with key industries in
Food production, Agriculture and Tourism. From a geographic context, Listowel is essential

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in unlocking and servicing the key strategic landbanks in Tarbert/Ballylongford, North
Kerry. In scale, importance and geography Listowel is of vital importance to the
surrounding towns and villages in both North Kerry and West Limerick. The potential of
the Ballylongford landbank in North Kerry has for a number of years been identified as a
strategic zone for development in the areas of energy, maritime and data storage.
Industrial development land on the Shannon Estuary near Tarbert/Ballylongford
constitutes one of the premier deep-water locations in the country. This makes it an area
of significant potential for future development and an asset for the region. Aside from the
deep-water asset, it is anticipated that proposed LNG plant will be a significant regional
project which will act as a catalyst for additional industrial development at this location in
the future. With the extension of the natural gas network and the existing electricity
distribution infrastructure in place it is intended to develop the area in a sustainable
manner as a power generation centre for the region.
It is also worth noting that in population terms alone it is larger than the ‘Key Town’ of
Clonakilty. Linkages including the Listowel by-pass to these important landbanks (which
form part of the Shannon Integrated Framework Plan and Deep-Sea Port of Foynes) are
strategically vital to the economic requirements of the county, and in particular to North
Kerry.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 2: IN THE CONTEXT OF THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTOWEL AS A
STRATEGICALLY LOCATED TOWN, WE ARE REQUESTING ‘KEY TOWN’ DESIGNATION BE AFFORDED TO
LISTOWEL.

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RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 2 – ENHANCED REGIONAL ACCESSIBILITY
Kerry is a key partner in the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC). The
AEC have called on the RSES to have the AEC designated as a special Economic Zone. In
order to facilitate the development of the ‘High Value, Low Carbon Economy’
underpinning the principles of the AEC, effective communication and Transport Links are
required along the full corridor including Kerry. The NPF sets out a key requirement to
progressive development of the AEC from Galway Northwards, failing in its requirement
to address the development of the Corridor from Limerick Southwards and recognising
Kerry’s key role in the AEC.

The RSES-Southern Assembly document must recognise the vital importance of an M21
Adare/Newcastlewest by-pass as a key-artery for the entire county. A connection to the
M20 corridor in isolation, serves only to support dissecting Kerry as a county from the
rest of the region. Enhanced connectivity between Kerry and the two closest MASP
                                            regions of Limerick/Shannon and Cork is vital
                                            for inter-regional connectivity. Kerry’s growth
                                            potential in Agri-food, Tourism, Retail and
                                            Manufacturing are reliant heavily on
                                            accessibility to larger population bases and
                                            onward connection to the Limerick-Dublin
                                            motorway. Current poor infrastructure links
                                            on these critical road networks have already
                                            influenced potential new Foreign Direct
                                            Investment away from the county, as well as
                                            negatively impacted on the growth of
                                            indigenous industry within the county, leading
                                            directly to employment leaving the county in
                                            recent years.

(PICTURED: LAUNCH OF THE KILLARNEY TOURISM ECONOMIC
IMPACT REVIEW (TIER1) BY MINISTER BRENDAN GRIFFIN)

With reference to the key economic driver within Kerry of the inter-urban cluster of
Tralee, Killarney and Killorglin, it is vital to the strategic capacity of the region and the
safety of those utilising the current N21 that Adare/Newcastlewest are bypassed with a
suitable motorway, connecting to the N21 Castleisland bypass, that will facilitate the
growth of the county. AA Roadwatch rank the existing stretch of Roadway amongst the
Top10 worst for Traffic in Ireland “N21 Limerick/Tralee Rd past Patrickswell to Adare and
then again from Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.“

A study was carried out in 2012 by the NRA now operating as Transport Infrastructure
Ireland on the impact of Road Improvements on accessibility and in turn economic
potential of Counties, Urban areas, gateways and Hubs. According to the report the
interest in accessibility measures has increased because of their relevance to measuring
the wider economic benefits of transport investments. Firms that locate in dense urban
areas provide spill-over benefits to other firms in their locality. The result is that firms in
dense urban areas have higher productivity and lower costs than those in more rural
settings, other things being equal. The scale of a firm’s “locality” is in part determined by
accessibility.

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If transport system improvements bring
geographic areas closer together through
accessibility enhancements, then the
“effective density” of that area is raised.
Thus, economic productivity gains can be
realised through transport system
improvements that raise effective density.

                                         (PICTURED: ADARE TRAFFIC CONGESTION – SOUTH-BOUND TRAFFIC
                                           RANKED AMONGST WORST IN THE COUNTRY BY AA ROADWATCH)

County Kerry rated poorly in terms of access to employment. Access to employment for
Dublin City zones is five times that of Kerry, which is the least accessible local authority
area. A reason for the poor results is that one of the greatest difficulties faced by County
Kerry is its peripherality.

The provision of proper external infrastructural linkages from the County to national and
international infrastructural networks greatly minimises the impact of peripherality. The
provision of infrastructure makes the County more attractive for the location of industry
and as a location in which to live, work and provide employment.

The Irish Academy of Engineering in 2016, in their report on ‘The Atlantic City Regions,
Development & Connectivity’ cited “Bus services from Killarney/Tralee to Cork, Limerick
and further afield would benefit greatly from construction of the Adare Bypass (N69) and
the Macroom/Ballyvourney Bypass (N22). This is particularly important for tourism which
is such a significant part of the economy of County Kerry.”

The lack of recognition for this key element of infrastructure is completely at odds with
the RSES document’s own statement on Page 95 specifically to sustain Tourism, of which
Kerry is of National significance:

“The promotion of enhanced transport networks including public transport services is
essential to attract and enable ease of movement around the region by tourists and
visitors. Improvements are needed at key arrival points such as Ferry Ports with better
public transport connections and improvements to the existing road and rail
networks/services to remove bottlenecks and increase and improve connectedness to
and between key tourism destinations. The identification of strategic corridors can assist
in the development of the network between our cities, towns and rural areas.”

To maximise the potential of the region, connectivity with Kerry is crucial. Two projects
announced in the 2015 ‘Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment
2016-2021.’ were outlined as being crucial to achieving this. However, both projects
have had little or no progress. They are:

    •   Adare Bypass N69 (Phase 1) and Foynes Port Access Road which will connect the
        N7 Dublin motorway and the Limerick/Shannon region to the N21 and the South
        West.
    •   The N22 project linking Ballincollig to the west of Cork City to the N22 west of
        Ballyvourney. This will bypass Macroom and connect the N25 from
        Rosslare/Waterford and the N8 to the South West.

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RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

KEY RECOMMENDATION 3: IT IS CRUCIAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTY THAT THE
M21 ADARE/NEWCASTLEWEST BYPASS BE PROGRESSED AS A KEY INFRASTRUCTURAL NECESSITY
FOR THE REGION TO IMPROVE CONNECTIVITY TO DUBLIN VIA LIMERICK.

The NPF clearly states under NSO 2, Enhanced Regional Accessibility:

“To strengthen public transport connectivity between cities and large growth towns in
Ireland…with improved services and reliable journey times”

This key strategy from the NPF is not reflected in the RSES in the context of Kerry, which
contains a number of key large towns. Confining transportation to inner-urban areas
utilising solely ‘Smart Urban
Initiatives’ is mis-representative of the
needs of a county such as Kerry, and
therefore the RSES should be more
cognisant on the ‘inter-urban’ needs
and the rural/village connectivity
requirements to larger urban towns in
Kerry. It is vital that the RSES plan
according to the specific geographic
needs of Kerry to inter-link rural and
town transport solutions.

                                                 (PICTURED: THE 400FT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER
                                                                                    AT DINGLE PIER)

KEY RECOMMENDATION 4: SUPPORT FEASIBILITY ASSESSMENTS AND INVESTMENT IN THE RAIL
NETWORK SERVICING TRALEE AND KILLARNEY.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 5: SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF AND EXPANSION OF KERRY
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AS A KEY CONNECTOR.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 6: SUPPORT INVESTMENT INTO THE ROAD NETWORK ON A COUNTYWIDE
LEVEL TO CONNECT THE THREE TOWNS THAT FORM THE INTER-URBAN CLUSTER.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 7: SUPPORT THE INTEGRATION OF TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTION
SERVICES IN FARRANFORE AND CASTLEISLAND AS A KEY-SERVICE HUB FOR THE COUNTY AND INTER-
URBAN CLUSTER WITH INTEGRATED RAIL, ROAD AND AIR TRANSPORTATION LINKS.

Pages 43 and 45 of the RSES Southern Region report identifies the port of Fenit to be a
‘significant freight export and marina asset’ and of being critical to industry for ‘exporting
worldwide’. Nowhere in the report does the RSES document identify the means of
supporting the growth of Fenit port from a Marine and Manufacturing standpoint, as a
critical piece of infrastructure. Neither does the report acknowledge the vital long-term
role Fenit Port and Daingean Ui Chuis (Dingle) Harbour will play in the enhancement and
job creation with the tourism sector. The R558 to Fenit is an important route accessing
this deep-water port, which can cater for vessels up to 5,000 dwt., within 8 miles of
Tralee. Although it was traditionally a fishing port, it is used by a number of exporting

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RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

firms such as Liebherr (Ireland) Ltd., it is now a centre of maritime activity serving the
Hub with the marina contributing most of the port’s income.

Fenit Sea Port and Dingle Harbour has amenity, commercial and important
transportation links to facilitate the growth and connectivity of the South West Region.
Fenit Port deep sea pier is 175m long with extensive storage facilities available.
Regularly accommodating 15,000 tonne ships, the port is a very picturesque mixed use
port with a marina, fishing and commercial ships. There are about 17 shipments per
year. This is almost totally due to the export of container cranes manufactured by
Liebherr Group an Irish subsidiary, based in Killarney, which are shipped all over the
world.

Fenit Harbour, a fully compliant ISPS port, also offers warehousing and open storage
options for commercial clients. All-terrain mobile crane (80 tonnes) facilities are also
available. With the development of the Western Relief Road around Tralee road access to
Fenit has significantly improved. The development of the road infrastructure linking the
Port at Fenit to Tralee will also create an economic corridor which will act as a catalyst to
the future development of the Port for Commercial and Tourism business.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 8: UNDERTAKE A DETAILED REPORT ON FENIT PORT, INTERLINKED WITH
DAINGEAN UI CHUIS, AS AN EXPORT, MARINE AND TOURISM ASSET FOR THE REGION, WITH A VIEW
TO PROVIDING FOR INCREASED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH PROVIDING FOR LARGER
VESSELS INCLUDING MEDIUM-SIZED CRUISE SHIPS.

                                                             (Pictured: illustrating inclusion of 40km radius around
                       Tralee/Killarney/Killorglin Hub connecting with Limerick and Cork Gateway population areas)

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NSO 3 – STRENGTHENED RURAL ECONOMIES & COMMUNITIES
It is very difficult to make an assessment on the RSES plans for the development of the
Rural Economies, in particular for Kerry, as the draft report in its current format is
devoid of concrete plans. More so the draft report re-iterates National objectives and
over-arching aims for the development of rural economies, without giving the specifics
and identifying actual infrastructure proposals for any specific location.

This is disconcerting considering the 3rd principal of the National Development Plan’s
‘Strategic Investment Priorities’ is to focus investment on ‘Rural Development’. This lack
of focus from the draft RSES underlines the belief that the plan is based primarily on the
‘compact growth’ of the regions recognised cities.

In fact, Section 4.5 of the RSES on ‘Rural Development’ shifts the focus from real
concrete actions and specifics to a broader context of ‘supporting’ EU Good Practice and
Agricultural policy. Unlike other sections of the RSES document, where specific projects
and infrastructure plans are detailed, the RSES document fails to identify any specific
rural project. The only specific reference to any rural project is RPO57 where the RSES
identifies its objective to support the Bio-economy Hub in Lisheen, Tipperary, and RPO77
which leverages investment for the ports of Shannon, Cork and Waterford.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 9: DEVELOP SPECIFIC POLICY AND OBJECTIVES TO SUPPORT THE
DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL TOWN AND KEY TOWN BUSINESS INCUBATION AND TECHNOLOGY HUBS
FROM THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR.

The National Broadband Strategy is of
critical importance to Counties like Kerry.
Specific isolated rural areas in Kerry are
not prioritised by National Operators due
to the poor economies of scale to service
these ‘cold spots’ in the county. Enabling
these areas will provide a prospect for re-
population through Remote Working (of
which Kerry is a national leader in
promoting) opportunities and the
development of micro-industries.
Enactment of the Digital Strategy for Kerry
and the subvention of commercial ISP
infrastructure to these areas will enable
geographically isolated communities and
industries to develop.

                                             (PICTURED: BROADBAND ROLLOUT SOUTHWEST – MARCH 2019
                                    SOURCE DEPT. OF COMMUNICATIONS, CLIMATE ACTION & ENVIRONMENT)

The importance of a modern, efficient telecommunications system for the future
development of the County cannot be overstated and constitutes a vital element of the
County’s infrastructure. The Information Technology sector has huge potential for
employment creation and access to resilient high-quality broadband is essential if the
County is to be regarded as a viable location for the development of this industry and
other service industries which rely on broadband.

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There is an onus on the RSES to plan for the future growth potential and development of
rural areas, in particular areas of cultural importance such as the Gaeltacht regions of
Kerry which give our country its ‘sense of place’ and unique cultural heritage. There
must be a specific focus on fostering renewal and supporting the potential for
employment growth in the smaller towns and villages.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 10: SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFY OBJECTIVES AND SUPPORT SUBVENTION,
UTILISING LOCAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS (ISP’S) TO DEVELOP QUALITY WIRELESS
BROADBAND SERVICES TO UNDER-SERVICED RURAL AREAS IN THE SHORT-TERM.
NOTWITHSTANDING ANY MEDIUM TO LONG TERM NATIONAL BROADBAND SCHEMES.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 11: SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY HUB BUILDINGS IN
SMALLER RURAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES TO SUPPORT THE ROLL-OUT OF E-LEARNING AND INTERNET
BASED SERVICES TO RURAL COMMUNITIES.

With the infrastructure in place already, we see the Limerick/Tralee road-juncture in
Castleisland as being a significant strategic location for the development of an
industrial/distribution hub. Complimentary indigenous industry in the area would benefit
from additional industry clustering along this key artery route. Castleisland in recent
years has seen significant population decline (CSO 2016) due to a shortage of
employment opportunities.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 12: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCE MANUFACTURING AND
DISTRIBUTION FACILITY ON THE TRALEE ROAD AT THE EDGE OF CASTLEISLAND SHOULD BE
PLANNED AND PROGRESSED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE IDA.

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NSO 4 – SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY
The current draft of the RSES Southern Region document makes no reference to the key
National Road Network projects required in order to enable growth enhanced regional
accessibility for the county. It is worth noting that the national, regional and inter-county
road network in Kerry accommodates an influx of tourists to a ratio of 12:1 (3 to 4 times
that of the national average) on the roads during the peak tourism seasons. The current
road network is incapable of accommodating this influx on an ongoing basis without
further investment. The tourism industry in Kerry accounts for in excess of 22% of all
employment in the County.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 13: SIGNIFICANT CRITICAL NEW INVESTMENT INTO THE ROAD NETWORKS
(IN ADDITION TO KEY RECOMMENDATION 3 ABOVE) TO ACCOMMODATE PLANNED GROWTH ON
THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY NETWORK ALONG THE NORTH KERRY COASTLINE, SLEA HEAD/DINGLE
AND ALONG THE ‘RING OF KERRY’ ROAD NETWORK.

Critical to the urban growth of the towns of Killarney and Tralee is the development of
modern urban transport services utilising ‘key bus-based projects’. The provision of well-
functioning, integrated transport solutions in a sustainable manner that supports mobility
throughout the urban areas is of paramount importance. Currently both towns are
experiencing crisis-level traffic issues, in particular in the peak tourism season, which are
undermining the commercial viability for both locations. All year round both towns are
under pressure with available car-parking facilities, with locals having to resort to private
cars as the only means of accessible inner-town transport.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 14: UNDERTAKE A NETWORK REVIEW OF THE BUS TRANSPORT SERVICES
WITHIN TRALEE AND KILLARNEY WITH A VIEW TO PROVIDING A MODERN ENHANCED AND
SUSTAINABLE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICE.

Kerry International Airport relies on private transportation and car-hire in order for visitors
to access the remainder of the county. Meanwhile the train station is only 1.6Km up the
N23 in Farranfore village, and the public bus service schedule is mis-aligned to provide
‘in-time’ access. A local area plan has been prepared to ensure that Farranfore develops
its potential as a transport hub and as a sustainable location for logistics and distribution.
Land is zoned for airport related uses, industry, light industry, warehouse/distribution and
a commercial business park.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 15: REVIEW THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TRANSPORTATION HUB ADJACENT
TO FARRANFORE RAILWAY STATION, LINKED BY LIGHT BUS SERVICE TO KERRY INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT TO COINCIDE WITH SCHEDULED FLIGHT TIMES. UNDERTAKE A REVIEW OF THE INTER-
CONNECTIVITY OF TRANSPORT SERVICES BETWEEN FARRANFORE AND KERRY INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT TO BEST MEET THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF KERRY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
AND PROVIDE MORE ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE COUNTY OF KERRY UTILISING PUBLIC TRANSPORT
SERVICES.

Farranfore has strong national and regional rail, road and air linkages with the capacity
to promote inter-urban accessibility which is of critical importance to the successful

pg. 13
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

development of both the Knowledge Triangle and the County as a whole. Given Kerry’s
peripheral location, Farranfore has a strategic and pivotal role in the efficient and
effective operation and functioning of the Hub. The roads in Kerry are congested with
large transport vehicles which in many cases are unsuitable for the infrastructure
available. Teagasc in 2017 analysed the drive-time journeys from West to the South-
west of Kerry as being the highest in the entire Southern Region, as well as the Tarbert
(North Kerry) to Kenmare (South
Kerry) being significantly higher
than drive times in the south of the
County. The current Kerry County
Development plan for Farranfore
identifies that

 ‘Farranfore develops its potential as
a transport hub and as a sustainable
location for logistics and
distribution. Land is zoned for
airport related uses, industry, light
industry, warehouse/distribution
and a commercial business park’.

                                                 (PICTURED: KERRY CO. CO. LAND ZONING – FARRANFORE)

In the 2013-2019 Kerry County Council F.A.L.A.P on Farranfore:
“Due to its strategic transport links, its international airport and its strategic location
within the Hub, it is expected that there will be an increase in the logistic employment
sectors (warehousing and distribution) and other sectors that would benefit from an
airport and potentially enhanced railway operations in the future.”
“The development of airport related uses, including a centre of logistics, distribution and
warehousing and light industry would also enable Farranfore to provide both a specialist
role that compliments the two Hub towns. With an increased range of destinations to fly
to, there is a great need to plan for an efficient public transport connection that would
link Farranfore with Tralee and Killarney.”

KEY RECOMMENDATION 16: IMPLEMENT THE OBJECTIVE TO DEVELOP THE CRITICAL
INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS TO ENABLE FARRANFORE BECOME A SUSTAINABLE LOGISTICS,
WAREHOUSING & TRANSPORTATION HUB SERVICING THE REGION.

The NPF specifically highlights the requirement for the provision of a comprehensive
‘network of safe cycling routes’ in ‘towns and villages’. A regional policy objective
RPO193 is to support the investment in Greenway and Blueway Corridors. With the
exception of a passing reference to the Tralee-Fenit and South Kerry Greenway and the
possible extension of the Great Southern Trail to Listowel, no definitive statements are
made within the RSES document to support the development of the essential greenway
network in Kerry.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 17: SET OUT A CLEAR POLICY OBJECTIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
GREENWAYS IN KERRY, NAMELY THE TRALEE-FENIT (NORTH KERRY) GREENWAY, THE SOUTH KERRY
GREENWAY PROJECT AND THE CONNECTION OF LISTOWEL TO THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL AT THE
COUNTY BOUNDS.

pg. 14
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 5 – STRONG ECONOMY SUPPORTED BY ENTERPRISE, INNOVATION AND SKILLS
Current Enterprise policy in Ireland is led by the Department of Business, Enterprise and
Innovation. The recently published Regional Enterprise Plan 2020 (REP2020) for the
South West specifically states that the in order to support jobs creation and enterprise
growth in the region the focus is on “diversifying the regional economy, building on
place-specific strengths, regional brand development, business clustering and ecosystem
strengthening initiatives”.

We would contest that the RSES Southern Region does not fully capitalise on this for
Kerry. In fact the Minister’s foreward to the REP2020 specifically states a desire that ‘no
region should lag behind their potential’. The potential for Kerry has not been unlocked
within the remit of the RSES plan. We recognise the RSES’s acknowledgement “In terms
of rural economic development, sustainable rural communities are dependent on viable
and vibrant towns and villages. The RSES recognises the decline of the population and
services in many villages and rural areas”, however the draft RSES does not contain
concrete plans to counteract this. It is worth noting that Population Growth for South
West in the RSES Plan of 10%+ in the 10 years 2016 – 2026. Last Census population of
Kerry grew by 1.5% and Co Cork & City by 5%, over three times that of Kerry. This is
manly due to huge rural depopulation in Kerry and in some significant Kerry towns. The
RSES Draft Plan does not address how Kerry’s planned population growth will be
achieved

We would echo the submission of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Business Forum that the
“E” for Economic is not addressed in the “RSES” draft plan. The AEC Business Forum
state “Enterprise Development models that succeed in urban settings are unlikely to
succeed in non-urban settings”. Unless the RSES draft plan clearly acknowledges the
disparities in the enterprise development policies which are focused on supporting the
exponential growth of the MASP areas of Cork, Limerick-Shannon and Waterford, a
distorted spatial growth will occur, in the Southern Region to the detriment of counties
like Kerry.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 18: THE REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS TO THIS REPORT CALL ON THE
RSES TO INCLUDE AN EQUITABLE APPROACH TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THAT ENABLES KERRY
TO REALISE ITS ECONOMIC POTENTIAL AND PROVIDE THE SAME LEVEL OF DETAIL ON ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT.

We are calling on the RSES to recognise National Policy Objective No. 12 in the NPF in
relation to Strategic sites in Kerry and to “work with local authorities, other public bodies
and capital spending departments and agencies to co-ordinate and secure the best use
of public lands…and to drive the renewal of strategic areas not being utilised to their full
potential…to ensure that the necessary transformation of the places most in need of
regeneration can take place more swiftly and effectively.”

pg. 15
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

                                          (PICTURED: ARCHITECT’S IMPRESSION – ISLAND OF GEESE, TRALEE)

KEY RECOMMENDATION 19: RECOGNISE UNDER RPO59 OF THE RSES DOCUMENT, THE STRATEGIC
IMPORTANCE OF THE ‘ISLAND OF GEESE’ SITE IN TRALEE, THE ‘SARA LEE SITE’ IN KILLARNEY, THE
‘TRALEE ROAD, IN CASTLEISLAND AND THE ‘TARBERT/ BALLYLONGFORD LANDBANK IN NORTH
KERRY AS STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT ZONES (SDZ’S), THAT WILL SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENTIRE COUNTY. THESE STRATEGIC EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT SITES
REQUIRE PARTICULAR FOCUS IN TERMS OF THEIR “ACCESS TO UTILITIES, CONNECTIVITY, AND
OTHER ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT FACTORS”.

It is the objective of RPO84 the RSES report, with reference to the Marine Cluster “to
develop a research driven marine cluster in the Southern Region to support development
of Marine ICT and Biotechnology”. Daingean Ui Chuios and Fenit Harbour are perfectly
situated with a combination of existing ICT, Marine and Educational infrastructures to
capitalise on this objective.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 20: DEVELOP AN ICT, EDUCATION AND MARINE INFRASTRUCTURE
NETWORK BETWEEN FENIT AND DAINGEAN UI CHUIS HARBOURS TO SUPPORT THE GROWTH AND
R&D FOR THE MARINE AND FISHERIES SECTORS REGIONALLY.

The advance facilities developed by the IDA in Tralee has been filled, and there are
significant urban ‘brownfield’ sites available in the centre of Tralee town. In order to
cater for the current and future demand, Tralee has a serious shortage of modern open-
plan office facilities in the town, coupled with an immediate and ongoing need to attract
employment into the town centre to support the existing services and retail sectors.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 21: DEVELOP IN A PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP APPROACH THE INFILL
BROWNFIELD SITES IN TRALEE TOWN CENTRE FOR COMMERCIAL RETAIL AND OFFICE SPACE.

pg. 16
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 6 – HIGH-QUALITY INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIVITY
As per this submission’s earlier points, Kerry International Airport and Fenit Port are
critical elements of the international connectivity of Kerry to support the region’s
industries. Of critical importance to the business sector, and the ability to attract and
retain talent and FDI into the region is the improved routes serviced from Kerry
International Airport. Kerry County Council in both the County Development Plan and the
Local Economic and Community Plan recognises the strategic importance of Kerry
International Airport as a key factor in promoting the economic development of the
County. The airport is an important strategic asset to the County in strengthening
transportation links both nationally and internationally.

                  (PICTURED: PROPOSED NEW TERMINAL BUILDING – KERRY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, 2007 STUDY)

It is envisaged that future upgrading of the airport facilities will increase the potential for
the airport to attract increased passenger numbers thereby making the County more
accessible to other national and international transport hubs.

 The airport plays a significant economic role in creating opportunities by attracting
investment and tourists to the region. In essence it acts as an economic driver for the
region and has a major impact on the social and economic infrastructure of the
surrounding area.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 22: SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIVITY THROUGH KERRY
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN PROVIDING THE CRITICAL LAND AND AIR SIDE INFRASTRUCTURE TO
FACILITATE ROUTE/FREQUENCY IMPROVEMENTS INCLUDING GREATER CONNECTIVITY TO DUBLIN
AND PROVISION OF FLIGHTS TO AMSTERDAM AND ADDITIONAL CONTINENTAL HUBS. IT IS THE
OPINION OF THE BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS REPRESENTED IN THIS SUBMISSION THAT A STRATEGIC
DEVELOPMENT ZONE (SDZ) IN REGARD TO A PLANNING AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK SHOULD BE
APPLIED TO THE LANDS AROUND FARRANFORE AND KERRY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 23: UNDERTAKE A NETWORK REVIEW OF THE PORT FACILITIES AT FENIT
AND DINGLE IN ORDER TO ASSESS THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SERVICES FOR
LEISURE/TOURISM AND MANUFACTURING SECTORS.

pg. 17
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 7 – ENHANCED AMENITIES AND HERITAGE
The vision for Kerry is that it further develops its rich cultural heritage and amenities to
sustain its critical tourism industry in these challenging times. Killarney is a regional
anchor for the entire south-west region, and is a key gate-way town for the Wild Atlantic
Way. Areas like the Dingle and the Beara Peninsula have an international reputation for
outstanding scenery, and internationally renowned festivals such as the Rose of Tralee,
Puck Fair and Listowel Writers Week support the reputation of Kerry internationally.
Tourism, and the tourism products in Kerry are key economic influencers that support
the entire county. Kerry is more dependent on tourism than any other region in Ireland.

Critical to the 1 in 5 jobs (est.
14,000 people) employed in the
tourism sector in Kerry, is the
development of infrastructure to
support and sustain the region. The
growth in Kerry’s tourism industry
will influence the growth in tourism
throughout the South-West region,
but only through investment in
improved infrastructure links,
international connectivity and inner-
urban transportation as identified in
the Key Recommendations above.

                                                         (PICTURED: PROPOSED SOUTH-KERRY GREENWAY))

Implementation of key greenway projects highlighted above in Key Recommendation 17
is critical to enabling alternate access for recreational visitors and residents in Kerry.

Not only tourists visiting the region, but also residents within the county will benefit from
improved investment in a ‘sense of place’ in the towns and villages in Kerry. In an effort
to attract and retain talent in our rural towns and villages critical investment in our
public realms and amenities is required. Investment in the public realm spaces of our
towns and villages will enable a re-invigoration of life back into these communities by
increasing their attractiveness and contributing to the quality of life of those who live
there. Key policy changes must be made in relation to ensuring active and open
engagement between all stakeholders (Public and Private Sector) in the development of
public realm programmes.

The NPF clearly states in National Policy Objective 18a “Support the proportionate
growth of and appropriately designed development in rural towns that will contribute to
their regeneration and renewal, including interventions in the public realm, the provision
of amenities, the acquisition of sites and the provision of services.”.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 24: INVESTMENT IN THE URBAN ‘PUBLIC REALM’ SPACES IN TRALEE AND
KILLARNEY TO IMPROVE THE SENSE OF PLACE AND ENHANCE THE QUALITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS
OF BOTH TOWNS, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC REALM PLANS AND COLLABORATIVE
TOWNCENTRE HEALTHCHECK PROGRAMMES FOR THE LARGER TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN KERRY

pg. 18
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

Investing in infrastructure alone will not support an over-arching requirement from
businesses in Kerry to be able to attract talented people. Preservation and enhancement
of the county’s natural environment is of critical importance to the Quality of Life offering
Kerry utilises in attracting people to live in the county.

The Kerry coastline stretches to over 1,000km, and has a rich maritime and coastal
heritage which must be protected to preserve its unique eco-system. The coastline of
Kerry offers an opportunity for tourism infrastructure development in sustainable
Coastal, Food and ‘Green’ tourism through marina development, education centres,
angling and sailing centres.

                                                                             KEY RECOMMENDATION
                                                                             25: STRATEGIC
                                                                             DEVELOPMENT OF KEY
                                                                             TOURISM AMENITY SITES IN
                                                                             THE COUNTY INCLUDING
                                                                             THE DINGLE MARINA, THE
                                                                             LEE VALLEY EXPERIENCE &
                                                                             TOWN URBAN PARK IN
                                                                             TRALEE AND INVESTMENT
                                                                             IN INDOOR VISITOR
                                                                             EXPERIENCES IN KILLARNEY.

(PICTURED: LEE VALLEY EXPERIENCE & TOWN PARK, TRALEE)

KEY RECOMMENDATION 26: DEVELOP
SPECIFIC POLICY AND OBJECTIVES TO
SUPPORT THE TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
OF KERRY THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF
A TRAIL OF KEY COASTAL AMENITY SITES
SUPPORTED BY ‘CLUSTERS’ IN MARINE,
COASTAL, FOOD AND ECO-TOURISM
PROJECTS ALONG RURALLY ISOLATED AREAS
ALONG THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY,
INCORPORATING THE BLUE-WAY TRAILS IN
KERRY.

                                                        (PICTURED: LAUNCH OF IRELAND’S 1 ST MARITIME TOURISM
                                                                               STRATEGY – DINGLE PENINSULA)

pg. 19
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 8 – TRANSITION TO A LOW CARBON & CLIMATE RESILIENT SOCIETY
Underpinning all our economic ambitions for the county of Kerry is a requirement to
support a low carbon and climate resilient society. Our County has a world-class quality
of life, a scenic environment unrivalled in international standards, and a reputation for
environmental awareness reinforced by the need to protect our surroundings as it
supports valuable tourism, agriculture and marine industries in the County.

With an emphasis on increased
growth in the MASP urban areas in
the region, there is an over-arching
balance needed to develop a strong
‘green-focused’ economy in Kerry
that supports the entire region.
Climate change represents a
significant challenge for Kerry in
particular with the harmful effects of
climate change on the coastal
regions of the county.

                                                                   (PICTURED: MAHAREES, CO. KERRY
                                             CLEAN COAST AWARD WINNER, COASTAL PROTECTION WORKS)

These reasons alone should justify the RSES to act in a focused and deliberate way to
provide special recognition to the county of Kerry.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 27: SEEK INVESTMENT IN THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ‘GREEN’
TOURISM ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE AND TOURISM SERVICES ACROSS KERRY AND SUPPORT
INITIATIVES ARISING FROM ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS AND ECONOMIC TOURISM STRATEGIES
FOR THE COUNTY

KEY RECOMMENDATION 28: WE RECOMMEND KERRY IS APPROACHED AS AN INTERNATIONAL
PILOT PROJECT FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-CARBON, CLEAN ENERGY AND
GREEN TRANSPORT MODEL.

pg. 20
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 9 – SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF WATER AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
Provision has been made by Irish Water, through significant investment in the Central
Regional Water Supply Scheme, and the existing capacity in waste water treatment
facilities, that enables significant population growth in Tralee and Killarney from the
current population of 77,554 (CSO 2016). Through this capacity both towns have a
sustainable combined population target of 100,000 people which will have a direct
influence on the growth of the county. The current draft of the RSES document curtails
the growth of Tralee and Killarney to 20-25%, which is significantly under the capacity of
both towns. Economic development strategies developed for the county envisages an
increased density of population within the hub areas of Killarney and Tralee, and
capacity increases should factor in a population increase in these two towns of at least
40% over the period to 2040.

                                                         We welcome the acknowledgement
                                                         in the RSES report of the R558
                                                         Tralee to Fenit Port water and
                                                         waste water treatment
                                                         requirement.

                                                         KEY RECOMMENDATION 29: ESTABLISH
                                                         A MEDIUM-TERM STRATEGY TO REVIEW
                                                         THE NPF IN THE CONTEXT OF TRALEE TO
                                                         REACH ITS CAPACITY IN SERVICING THE
                                                         COUNTY WITH ITS CITY-LIKE FUNCTIONS
                                                         (IN THE CONTEXT OF A REGIONAL
                                                         CENTRE).

(PICTURED: POPULATION DENSITY MAP, KERRY 2015)

Over a third of Kerry’s population now live in Urban areas (CS0 2016). Kenmare has
shown a population increase of over 9%, Killorglin by 5% and Dingle by 4%. This growth
has been primarily driven by employment opportunities generated by indigenous
industry. Provision must be made to support the employment opportunities and
requirement to develop more residential accommodation critical to the continued growth
of these towns. In particular industry in Dingle and Killorglin are prohibited by the lack of
housing and infrastructure in the recruitment of available roles.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 30: CRITICAL WATER AND WASTE WATER TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE
MUST BE DEVELOPED FOR DINGLE, KILLORGLIN AND KENMARE TO FACILITATE ONGOING
POPULATION GROWTH AND THE DIRE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION FOR
EMPLOYEES. INCLUDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A 10 YEAR SOCIAL AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
STRATEGY FOR ALL KERRY TOWNS BY KERRY CO. COUNCIL AND THE NATIONAL HOUSING AGENCIES

pg. 21
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

NSO 10 – ACCESS TO QUALITY CHILDCARE, EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES
                                             The acquisition of new skills is vital to keep
                                             pace with new technology. The HEI’s in Kerry
                                             have made significant developments in co-
                                             location and partnering with private and
                                             public stakeholders in the development of
                                             centres of excellence in the county, in
                                             particular in the med-tech, agri-tech and fin-
                                             tech clusters in the Inter-urban (knowledge
                                             triangle) in Killorglin, Tralee and Killarney.

(PICTURED: RDI HUB – KILLORGLIN)

It is very disconcerting to note that the only Strategic Objective in the RSES document
which specifically mentions IT Tralee is contained within the Cork MASP (objective 10).
This specific objective seeks ‘investment into infrastructure and facilities’ for CIT in it’s
transition to the MTU. No mention of investment into infrastructure is sought in the RSES
document for IT Tralee which is the partner HEI in the formation of the Munster
Technological University.

Strong employment and excellence in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors, as well as
clustering in the Medical and Retail industries in Kerry present obvious capacity for the
Education sector and Industry to play a vital role in the development of the economy in
Kerry.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 31: DEVELOP A SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE TOWARDS SUPPORTING IT TRALEE
(MTU) IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS MASTERPLAN AND INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS TO
INCREASE THE CAMPUS AND CO-LOCATED FACILITIES IN KERRY.

The national broadband roll-out into the major urban locations in Kerry have enabled
these towns to progress significantly towards the provision of opportunities for our
citizens. Through technology we must enable our more rural communities and villages to
also benefit. It is vital that these more rural locations are enabled to access education
opportunities with the support of the HEI’s in Kerry. Since 1991 there has been a decline
of 4,700 people employed in Kerry in
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. These
were vital employment areas to
sustaining our remote and rural regions
in Kerry and have directly contributed
to significant de-population and the
subsequent loss of employment/
businesses in many villages and
communities throughout Kerry.

                                                               (PICTURED: LAST SHOP SERVING KERRY
                                                 GAELTACHT COMMUNITY CLOSES ON 7 T H FEBRUARY 2019)

Kerry County Council specifically called for support for ‘out-reach facilities’ in their
submission to the NPF. Public and Private sector, along with the HEI’s in Kerry,
unanimously support the development of a Digital Strategy for Kerry, which includes the
provision of access to e-learning facilities for rural locations in Kerry. Delivery of

pg. 22
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

education through online, means that living in the more remote locations within our
region will not present a barrier to accessing education or upskilling.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 32: DEVELOP A SPECIFIC PILOT PROGRAMME SUPPORTING IT TRALEE
(MTU), EXPANDING REGIONAL AND RURAL HUBS AND SUPPORTING THROUGH INVESTMENT, THE
INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS OF LOCAL ISP’S TO CO-ORDINATE A PROGRAMME OF E-
LEARNING AND UPSKILLING FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES IN KERRY.

                                             A significant element of employment in Kerry is
                                             within the Health Sector. Kerry as a demographic
                                             has the oldest average age in the Country (CSO
                                             2016). Accounting for the unique older demographic
                                             of Kerry and for Government policy on this matter,
                                             specific projects must be developed around
                                             supporting older people to live with dignity in the
                                             community.

                                             KEY RECOMMENDATION 33: DEVELOPMENT OF
                                             ADDITIONAL SERVICES IN THE MAIN TOWNS IN KERRY TO
                                             SUPPORT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING A
                                             CONTINUUM OF HOUSING SUPPLY WITH SUPPORTS,
                                             ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORT INITIATIVES FOR URBAN AND
                                             RURAL ELDERLY RESIDENTS AND ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC
                                             SPACES IN OUR TOWNS.
                                             Many of our residents live in isolated or rural
                                             locations. As a county, Kerry services a significant
                                             tourist boost in population terms during the peak
                                             seasons, many of whom avail of the abundance of
                                             mountain trails, remote activity providers and blue-
                                             flag beaches in the county.

(PICTURED: AGE DEMOGRAPHICS KERRY V STATE)

All of which adds significantly to the resources required to operate our Health
infrastructure in Kerry. Special consideration must be given to the role that University
Hospital Kerry plays in the delivery of their service in this context. The HSE nationally
have engaged considerably with the private sector in Kerry in the improvement in
services for the elderly.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 34: SEEK INVESTMENT FOR THE IMPROVEMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE,
EXPANSION OF WARD FACILITIES (BED CAPACITY) AND IMPROVEMENT IN ACCESS (AMBULANCE
AND AIR) REQUIREMENTS BY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL KERRY, FOR THE EXPANDING LOCAL
POPULATION NEEDS AND GROWING TOURIST NUMBERS TO THE REGION.

KEY RECOMMENDATION 35: IMPROVED SERVICE REQUIREMENTS AND INVESTMENT IS NEEDED IN
THE DELIVERY OF OUT-REACH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY IN THE COUNTY TO
CATER FOR THE AGING POPULATION SPECIFIC TO KERRY.

pg. 23
RSES JOINT SUBMISSION – KERRY BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

CONTACT DETAILS

The submission has been made on behalf of the following Organisations:
   - TRALEE CHAMBER ALLIANCE
   - KILLARNEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & TOURISM
   - LISTOWEL CHAMBER ALLIANCE
   - CASTLEISLAND CHAMBER ALLIANCE
   - KILLORGLIN CHAMBER ALLIANCE
   - DINGLE BUSINESS CHAMBER
   - KENMARE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

For further information in relation to this submission, please contact:

Ken Tobin
CE – Tralee Chamber Alliance
ken@tralee.ie
Tralee Chamber Alliance
HQTralee – Building2
Dominick Street
Tralee
Co. Kerry

                    (PICTURED: PRIORITY INFRASTRUCTURE AREAS FOR THE RSES – SOUTHERN REGION FOR KERRY)

pg. 24
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