Planning permission was never granted to Kilkenny airfield for operation as an airfield, according to a response from Kilkenny County Council to an application for retention of a Portakabin on the grounds of the airfield.
In response to the application, Kilkenny County Council said: “Having completed a planning history search of the subject site, the Planning Authority could not locate any record of planning permission being granted for the use of the land as an airfield.”
The applicant, Tandem Skydive Club Kilkenny, furnished Kilkenny County Council with an affidavit from the former director of Kilkenny Airport Limited, Martin Mulhall, who is now deceased. The affidavit said that Kilkenny Airfield had been operation prior to the introduction of planning regulation on October 1, 1964. The affidavit also states that permission was never granted for the two existing hangers, the control tower, club house and toilets.
The council planners have admitted that the period for taking enforcement action has expired but in the council’s view the structures are still considered unauthorised.
The discovery that the buildings that were constructed without planning permission was particularly surprising as Kilkenny County Council had played a significant role in developing the facility. The current cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Paul Cuddihy was a previous board member of Kilkenny Airfield.
Kilkenny County Council instructed the owner of the overall site to apply for retention permission for all unauthorised structures on site, including the hanger, control tower, club house and toilet facilities.
They said that for the planning authority to grant the current application before retention was approved would in effect consolidate and intensify the use of existing unauthorised structures on site, which would be contrary to proper planning and sustainable development on site.