Developer to appeal Celbridge cinema refusal

DEVELOPER Damien Donegan has confirmed this week he will appeal Kildare County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a cinema complex in Celbridge.

Mr. Donegan is deeply unhappy and angry about the decision, which he says nobody in the area supports.

This week, Cllr. Catherine Murphy criticised the Council’s decision. The inclusion of a cinema complex in a zoning for a major town centre at Leixlip, was a factor in Kildare County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a cinema complex at Celbridge.

There has been heavy criticism of the decision to refuse permission to Longport Developments Ltd, Mr Donegan’s company, for the complex between Crodaun Forest Park and the M4 interchange in Celbridge. The location is a short distance away from Collinstown, which is zoned for a ‘Major Town Centre’.

The Council file holds a letter from a local resident, Gerry McDermott of Clane Road, Celbridge, supporting the proposal on the ground that Celbridge, as the third largest town in county Kildare would welcome such a development, and save people from having to travel to Blanchardstown and Liffey Valley to go to the cinema.

The Council gave a number of reasons for their refusal decision.
Firstly, the proposal, which involves getting rid of some industrial space, was not the right one for the area, it said.

Secondly, they maintained there was not enough other support services in the area to support the project. Mr. Donegan does not accept this argument.

The third reason given was that the cinema would undermine the objective of the Major Town Centre, for which nearby land between Intel and the M4 Interchange, is zoned.

But Mr. Donegan says that he has been told that it will be 20 years before there is any Town Centre at Collinstown.

Also at issue was the zoning of industrial land. Longport’s planning advisers said there was plenty of industrial zoned land relative to that which has been used so far in the Celbridge area and Mr. Donegan said there is a ten-year supply of industrial land in the area.

Cllr Catherine Murphy has criticised the Council decision: “This location would have provided an entertainment opportunity for the populations of all the north Kildare towns, the combined population of which is in excess of 50,000,” she said.

Cllr. Murphy said that during the debate on the recent Celbridge Local Area plan, she strongly argued that a major entrance to Celbridge should include attractive buildings and should not be covered by warehouses. “There is a very large young population in Celbridge that needs to be provided for now. This type of commercial leisure would be an ideal outlet.”

Cllr. Murphy said one of the reasons advanced for turning down the cinema is the proximity of the Celbridge site to Collinstown. “However, Collinstown is not expected to materialise in the short term. Many of the youngsters will have grown up and gone before there is a chance of a cinema being provided here,” she said.

“The physical planning of our towns must not be done in isolation from their social development. I would far rather see queues for a cinema in Celbridge than groups of young people walking about with nowhere to go.”

Published Date: 18 August 2010
By Henry Bauress
Leinster Leader


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