Minister overrides Sallins Area Plan

The Minister for Planning and Housing, Simon Coveney TD, has rejected the considered opinion of all 9 Councillors in the Naas electoral area, along with over 2,000 supporting submissions from the Sallins community to reject the amenity option in the local area plan. The Sallins Local Area Plan had contained a provision to zone 40 acres of land at Bodenstown as Amenity along with 30 for housing, the package also included a site for a second school and common use playing fields and community centre. I actively supported this when I was on the council, in fact as Mayor I formally proposed it, and chaired the meetings where it was voted through over the course of the last year.

Coveney refuses Sallins amenities

The County Manager and now the Minister opposed this proposal from the start as their argument was about over-zoning. Everybody in Sallins understands the problems of over-zoning as we are living through it. Sallins went from 500 to 5,000 people in the last fifteen years with no accompanying increase in leisure amenities.

This plan offered a concrete proposal to actually deliver lands for those amenities and enjoyed massive local support. All parties and all Councillors supported it as well as the overwhelming majority of local residents and for the Minister to ignore this reality and strike it down is really riding roughshod over the clearly expressed will of the people in the area affected.

Here is the Minister’s Directive Letter and the Community_Facilities letter that came with it.

It is worth noting the Scout Den is still being delivered and the playground is still underway. The Bodenstown lands were easily the biggest block of zoning in this plan but those smaller parcels are still going ahead so at least some amenities got through.

You can see some of my previous posts on it here.

 

Meeting held with National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus

Pictured with Dublin Bus CEO Ray Coyne

Pictured with Dublin Bus CEO Ray Coyne

I was delighted to hold meetings with both the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus to lobby for better and more cost effecient services for Kildare commuters. The meetings which took place in Leinster House addressed ticket costs, frequency of services, and forward planning as the county grows and more demand is placed on transport routes. Continue Reading →

Concerns Over Drehid Expansion

The landfill had reached a settled pattern in recent times, however since March an agreement with the Dept. of Environment has seen the volumes at the site escalate again. The load being received into the facility has practically doubled and this is having a particularly troubling effect on local roads which are being passed through by trucks bound for the dump, some making 4 round journeys a day on the same narrow roads.

I am concerned that there has not been great public awareness of this and whilst An Bord Pleanála are now considering their application for futher expansion, a lot of this has gone under the radar, bar for the residents who have noticed the increased traffic volumes. In particular local roads around Kill, Sallins, Clane and Prosperous are seeing this pattern and some of those roads are just not suitable.

I have written to Bord na Móna, the EPA and Kildare County Council to express my concerns on this. I am also very concerned at the prospect of a hazardous waste licence application which is expected to be made at the site in the near future also, which is in addition to the current application for increased volume.

Broadband Coverage Increased in North West Kildare

Map of new broadband coverage in North West Kildare

Map of new broadband coverage in North West Kildare

I am delighted to unveil the coverage map of areas which will receive fibre speed broadband where previously there has been slow or inconsistent broadband coverage. Working with Imagine, we have brought the service to the north west of the county following meetings with residents and hearing their concerns around the lack of coverage in the area.

As a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, and someone who is passionate about improving our broadband services I am delighted to be able to let residents know of the service rollout which is live and taking applications now. A huge issue when I met with residents in the area was the lack of coverage in places like Newtown, Johnstownbridge, Carbury, Broadford, and Timahoe. All these areas will now have access to fibre speed broadband. As people can see from the coverage map there is now comprehensive coverage across north west Kildare.

It has been said time and again how important broadband is for the local community in terms of education and business. It is a credit to Imagine for working with me and appreciating the concern and demand from residents in the area.

New Landfill Application at Kerdiffstown

A new application has now been lodged for a landfill at Kerdiffstown, Naas. This is essentially the same application that was refused permission already in 2014. The kernel of the problem here is the atrocious past practice at the same location which led to A1 waste being fined 10 million in the High Court recently, following years of planning problems and abuses at their landfill. It should be noted the new applicant is not connected to A1 and is an entirely separate individual but the local community are understandably very wary of any new landfills in this vicinity, having endured the last one for several years too long. Confidence in the regulatory authorities to properly manage or govern any new facility is very low based on past experience.

A copy of the fresh application is here: Application for new landfill at Kerdiffstown and a sample objection is here also: Sample submission re Waste Permit applic. 2016. If you wish to send in your own objection you can email in to environ@kildarecoco.ie or by post to Kildare County Council, Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare.

The environmental lobby group Clean Air Naas have also setup a FaceBook page to monitor the application at https://www.facebook.com/Stop-New-Naas-Dump-1393260984021221/

I objected the last time and will be doing so again on this occasion as I fail to see what has materially altered since this application was refused barely two years ago. You can see my previous posts on this issue here.