The Department of Education has announced that a new 6 classroom will be built for St. David’s National School, Naas, who will move from their current Dublin road site to the new school on the site of the Pipers Hill complex on the edge of Naas town. This is great news for St. Davids, whom were all out of space where they were, and I wish them the very best in their new home.
But I strongly urge the government to now follow up with immediate action for Pipers Hill CNS who have languished in leaky prefabs for three years now. Pipers Hill CNS school is at the same site and those children need to be taken out of prefabs and given a permanent home. Despite a department inspection and approval in principle, Pipers Hill CNS has yet to even be placed onto the school building waiting list. Not only does this mean the clock has not even started ticking on waiting for buildings, it also means they cannot avail of the standard grants and improvement schemes that the department operate each year.
Another upcoming roads scheme involves upgrading the roundabout on the Sallins Road. The roundabout upgrade will involve adding extra lanes of traffic going around it and is intended to speed up flows of traffic through the roundabout and around all the approach roads. Well done also to the council team and all involved in finishing the bridge works project well ahead of time. You can see detailed plans of the roundabout upgrade here and here. The council is accepting submissions from the public until 19th September.
A set of plans have been produced by the National Transport Authority, in conjunction with Bus Eireann and the County Council, to create a new ‘bus hub’ on Naas main street. This is a ‘Part 8’ in planning terms, which means the council puts it forward and the councillors vote on it (unlike a normal planning application where a private party puts forward an application and council officials decide on it). It strikes me that there is a lot of money being spent on this bus hub and I am not wholly convinced of the value. Concerns have been raised about potential impact on the main street as the plans would involve a loss of some parking spaces (4). I feel whether the bus stop proceeds or not, this underlying issue (lack of parking) needs to be addressed and I have been working on some proposals on that and on other town issues – more on that in due course. You can view the current designs for the bus hub here and the council are accepting submissions until 19th September.
The big news this month is that An Bord Pleanála have given the go-ahead for the Sallins by-pass, the new Osberstown interchange and the M7 road widening scheme to proceed. These projects are absolutely essential for the infrastructure of the area and I have been lobbying for them to proceed for as long as I’ve been involved in local politics. Now we have real progress on driving it forward. The new interchange along with the bypass itself will take through traffic out of the village, allow the centre to develop and make it a lot easier for everyone to get where they are going in a shorter timeframe. Funding still has to be approved but this is a really important step in the right direction. You can see detailed route maps on my website here.
Every five years the council produce a planning blueprint for an area, known as a Local Area Plan. The last plan for Sallins was adopted in 2009 and a new plan is in design at present. Some early discussions on that have been had at recent Naas district council meetings and I would expect a draft of the plan to go on display later this month. Amongst other things this will help identify lands for e.g. a playground, industrial activity, any increase or decrease in housing zonings etc. I will keep everyone posted when that plan is made available for review.