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.
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.
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.