Archive for the ‘Newspaper Articles on Planning in Kildare’ Category

Kildare County Council owed more than €53.9m in levies

February 28, 2012

Article from Leinster Leader

Kildare County Council (KCC) is owed more than €53.9m in development and planning levies, and its county manager is adamant “tight procedures” will recover these long and short-term debts.

 However, concern has been expressed that they will not even recover ‘a small part’ of this debt due to the downturn in the economy and the collapse of the construction industry with many firms gone bust.

The issue was raised by Cllr. Tony O’Donnell, who asked for a report on the arrears on unpaid development levies and what measures KCC was taking to combat this.

According to a council report, which was presented at yesterday’s county council meeting (February 27), short-term debtors owe €4.8m and long-term debtors have an outstanding €49.1m. This information was complied from the KCC Annual Financial Statement for 31 December 2011 that will published shortly. (more…)


Newbridge development gets green light

November 15, 2011

A NEW drive-through restaurant, filling station and other facilities are to be provided at a site in Newbridge town. Kildare Co Council has just granted planning permission for the development at Piercetown, Station Road, close to St Mark’s School and the Energie Fitness Centre, (formerly Jackie Skelly’s).

The approved application, in the name of Brendan O’Brien, is for a two-storey commercial development incorporating a petrol service station and shop, delicatessen with seating, kitchen, toilets and stores at ground floor level, along with a drive-through restaurant facility including order boxes, and further restaurant facilities on the first floor. The overall development also includes a car-wash area, underground storage for petrol pump services and car-parking. A new site entrance will also be developed. The site for which permission has been granted is a previously approved mixed-use development site.

The proposed development is an indicator of the growth of the Piercetown/Station Road area, where there has been a considerable amount of new housing built in recent years. As the route to Newbridge railway station and the housing estates and new school at Rickardstown, the roadway has become inceasingly busy. The new facilities will also be located directly opposite the new Department of Defence headquarters.

It is understood the development will be built by Kilmeague-based company Thoval Homes, headed by the Leeson brothers. The company has been responsible for the completion of a number of local housing and commercial projects in recent years. Planning permission was originally sought for the Station Road development on 25 March of this year and it was granted on Monday 7November.

Link to Article in Kildare Nationalist

Kildare Outlet centre may only sell out-of-season clothes

July 18, 2011

THE KILDARE Village outlet centre has been told that selling up-to-the minute fashions is in breach of its planning permission, planning sources have confirmed.

The determination from An Bord Pleanála was sought by rival retailer David Jones, who operates a number of shops at the Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

The board’s decision, taken at a meeting at the end of May, effectively ruled that Kildare Village centre had only planning permission to sell out-of-season clothes at discount rates and that sales of new products and in-season merchandise in the centre “would constitute a change of use”.

The board said the original permission for the outlet centre had been contingent on it not introducing new products which would be in competition with high street locations. (more…)

Alteration to Celbridge plan sought

April 1, 2011
KILDARE COUNTY manager Michael Malone is seeking to set aside key measures in the county council’s draft development plan – designed to protect historic landscapes around Celbridge — following a submission by a development company.

The move follows a decision by An Bord Pleanála on February 16th to refuse permission to Devondale Ltd for a scheme to facilitate the development of Donaghcumper Demesne as an extension of Celbridge town centre.

Overturning a decision by the county manager, the appeals board said the scheme – which included a new bridge over the river Liffey – would constitute a “major intrusion” into the setting of Castletown House and its historic grounds.

Amendments to the Kildare Draft Development Plan, to strengthen the protection for Castletown and Donaghcumper, were agreed by councillors last December, on foot of some 4,000 submissions. (more…)

Council postpones levy scheme

February 24, 2011

Kildare County Council has postponed the adoption of its controversial new development levy scheme to September.

At a special meeting on 14 February, councillors said a number of things needed to be changed in the recent draft scheme, which among other things, proposes a reduction in levies for telecommunications masts.

The levies are applied to new construction and other developments and the amounts sought by the Council to fund infrastructure have been controversial.

But councillors are concerned that with the economic downturn, what effect, levies will have on business and jobs growth in the county.

Between 2004 and October 2010, the Council took in E112.8 millions in levies, money which has funded many capital projects in the county. (more…)

Land rezoned against wishes of the County Manager

December 5, 2010

KILDARE County Council has voted to rezone industrial land near Tougher Business Park in the face of opposition from the County Manager.

Fine Gael Cllrs. Michael Nolan and Tony Lawler sought to zone 133 acres (54 hectares) of land adjoining the Tougher Business Park for industrial and warehousing.

On November 12, they asked councillors to reject a recommendation by the County Manager that the lands not be zoned.

But on November 18 last, following agreement to cut the amount of land to be rezoned for industry to 24 hectares, the Council voted 13-2 to rezone the land.

Two councillors, Murphy and McEvoy, opposed the motion and Labour members did not vote.

Senior officials advised against the proposal, including on the grounds that it could interfere with the possible route of a proposed major motorway.

They also said there were sufficient zoned lands in the county at the moment.

There is concern that the Minister for the Environment might ask the Council to revisit the plan if it breaches the regional and national guidelines by overzoning land

Complaint of negligence against solicitor dismissed

November 8, 2010
Tighe -v- Burke trading as McCartan and Burke solicitors. Neutral citation (2010) IEHC 280. High Court. Judgment was delivered on July 16th, 2010, by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.


The solicitor Joseph Burke was not negligent in dealing with judicial review proceedings brought by the plaintiff, Joseph Tighe, against Kildare County Council in relation to a planning application.


The plaintiff, Mr Tighe, was a lay litigant who brought a negligence claim against his former solicitor, Mr Burke, arising out of his application for planning permission for the development of a building in Newtown, Enfield, Co Kildare, in 2002.

In February 2003, the council stated that it required new newspaper notices. The plaintiff came to the view that a default permission under the 2000 Planning Act had come into being on March 18th, 2003, and instructed his then solicitors, Beauchamps, to institute judicial review proceedings.

In March 2004, he changed his solicitor to the defendant. Michael Collins SC had been retained by Beauchamps on the plaintiff’s behalf and continued to be briefed by Mr Burke.

The plaintiff alleged at a meeting with him and Mr Burke that an official in Kildare County Council had sought a bribe to facilitate the granting of the planning application.


Developer to appeal Celbridge cinema refusal

August 23, 2010

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’. (more…)

Oversupply of Housing in Kildare Not As Bad as Other Counties

August 3, 2010

In a recent article in the Irish times by Mr. Rob Kitchin (Director of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis at NUI Maynooth) he states that Kildare, along with Fingal, Galway city, Meath, Wicklow and south Dublin did a “reasonable job at keeping [housing] supply and demand aligned”.  This is in stark contrast with many other counties where there is now significant oversupply of housing and may prove to a key determinant in relation to future economic recovery within the county.  To see the article in full please click on the link below:

Land zoned for housing to fall by 70%, says Minister

July 27, 2010

THE 40,000 hectares of land zoned for residential development across the country will be reduced to 12,000 hectares over six years, Minister of State for planning Ciarán Cuffe said.

Mr Cuffe was speaking after the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill passed its final stage in the Seanad yesterday by 27 votes to 20.

He said the enactment of new planning laws would ensure that the right types of development were built in the right places at the right time.

“While there are around 40,000 hectares of land currently zoned for residential development across the country, the actual needs, even allowing for generous head room, over the next six years is for about 12,000 hectares,” he said

“The provisions in the new legislation are designed to address this excess to deliver more compact, walkable and integrated communities with the necessary infrastructure and services.”

Under the legislation, local authorities will be required to review development plans and ensure correct levels of land are available for residential development. Staff at the Department of the Environment will begin work this summer on implementing the new measures.

“At the heart of these new planning laws is a simple idea and that is to put the interests of our citizens ahead of any one interest group, be they property developers or landowners,” said Mr Cuffe.

He said over-zoning and bad planning had played a large role in creating the so-called property bubble, adding: “This legislation aims to ensure that these practices become a thing of the past.”

In a tweet, Mr Cuffe’s party colleague Senator Dan Boyle described the legislation as the “most significant piece of Green legislation in this session”.

Earlier this year, some Fianna Fáil backbenchers expressed concerns about elements of the legislation, but Carlow-Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward last night said he had received assurances it would “have no adverse effect”.

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian O’Domhnaill said he welcomed a provision in the legislation “that allows for a further extension of five years to live planning permission applications”.

He said this would provide “breathing space” for people who had achieved planning permission but, perhaps for financial reasons, were not yet in a position to start building their homes.

Irish Times, Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Kildare “does not have too much land for housing”

June 8, 2010

KILDARE County Council has denied that too much land has been rezoned for houses and apartments across the county.

According to recent Department of the Environment figures, Co Kildare has enough land set aside to create almost 38,000 residential units. However the number of units estimated to be needed is just 7,718.

Nationally, sufficient land has been zoned to build nearly 1.1 million homes yet projections indicate that only 300,000 new units are required between 2010 and 2016.

Kildare County Council spokesman Charlie Talbot disputed the figure adding “I don’t think we can agree with it”. He said that the council adheres to Draft Regional Planning Guidelines (DRPGs) which apply to the Greater Dublin Area between now and 2022.

“These targets take into account existing and potential vacancy levels and projected decline in households size over the time periods,” said Mr. Talbot. (more…)

E60m for South Kildare water network

May 7, 2010

More than E60 million has been allocated to South Kildare’s water infrastructure over the next three years.
The funding is part of a nationwide Water Services Investment Programme announced by the Minister for the Environment John Gormley this week and aims to bring Ireland into line with EU standards.

Work on the wastewater treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace, the network upgrade of the Athy Sewerage Scheme and the waste water treatment plant at the River Barrow Abstraction scheme will all start in the next two years.

A total of E3.5m was allocated to the treatment plant at Ballymore and work is expected to start later this year.

The River Barrow Abstraction Scheme was allocated E55.4m, E25.m for the wastewater treatment plant, n1.4m for the Bagenalstown Lock upgrade and E18m and E11m for the network itself. The scheme will commence this year.

According to FF Kildare South Deputy Sean Power, this infrastructure development is of huge importance to Kildare in terms of job creation and it reduces the county’s dependency on Dublin for its water.

“The River Barrow Abstraction Scheme is very important for the region for a number of reasons. Firstly the system will provide 40 per cent of Kildare’s water supply. This means we are taking more control of our water needs and it will reduce our dependency on Dublin. So we are no longer reliant on Dublin for our water supply,” he said.

He also noted the major employment aspect of these projects, the environmental aspects and planning implications of certain proposed developments that were turned down because of water reasons.

“It will create hundreds of jobs and it is very welcome in these difficult times,” Deputy Power added.

Meanwhile the network upgrade of the Athy Sewerage Scheme, which was allocated E500,000 by the programme, commenced this week, and is expected to run until August.

The project entails the relining of damaged or defective foul sewers in the town. According to the council, it is expected that disruption to traffic in the town will be minimal as a portion of the work will be required to be carried out during night time hours; work on Leinster Street, Emily Street and Offaly Street.

It is understood the work involves minimal excavation of roads or footpaths.

According to town engineer Diarmuid Donohue, defects in the system were highlighted some five years ago including cracked pipes, leakage of wastewater and infiltration of ground water.

He stressed there was not a public health risk but noted over the years many residents and businesses complained about the foul smell. He welcomed the investment of funds to the programme and the quick commencement of the project.

Residents in the affected areas are due to receive a letter from Athy Town Council outlining the works and possible disruption, according to the engineer.

By Lisa Deeney, 21 April 2010

Commercial mast move fails at draft plan stage

March 26, 2010

A move to block potential future commercial telecommunications from being located in many residential areas has failed at Kildare County Council.

A move to block potential future commercial telecommunications from being located in many residential areas has failed at Kildare County Council.

Celbridge area non-party Cllr. Catherine Murphy sought to have a new statement on the location of masts inserted into the new Kildare County Development Plan (CDP), which will run from next year to 2011.

Cllr. Murphy wanted to insert a clause which stated that where there is a commercial element in communication masts at Garda stations or other security points, they should require regular planning permission rather than be able to get the go-ahead without permission.

The County Manager, Michael Malone, and senior officials disagreed with the proposals. (more…)

Permission granted for waste water treatment plant near Kilcullen, Co. Kildare

March 26, 2010

KILDARE County Council has granted planning permission for a municipal waste water plant near Kilcullen. Despite the objections of locals, the applicant, Paddy White, was granted permission to build the plant at Carrighill Lower and Ballyshannon.

The application was made on June 30, 2009 and granted on March 12 last. Objections and submissions from locals noted that there were other options to upgrade the plant in the village, that road access to the plant would be a traffic hazard, that a previous application at the same site, which included a similar plant had been refused for public health reasons.

They also felt that the plant was not required and that it was unclear who would own and manage the plant.

A previous planning application for an eco village of 137 houses, a school, creche and commercial units had been refused in 2007.

However, in his report, planner Damian Daly, while noting that Mr. White had been refused permission for an eco village, he made it clear that “a grant of permission in relation to the current proposal (of a waste water treatment plant), does not mean that permission will be granted for an eco village or any other housing application on the lands should such an application be lodged”.

At E65 per 24 square metres, levies of n1,560 will apply to the development.

Published Date: 24 March 2010

By Conor McHugh

A chance to have your say on the future of Kildare Town

March 22, 2010

A public meeting will take place tonight, Monday March 22, to give all Kildare town residents the chance to have their say on the development of the town.

Kildare County Council is in the process of reformulating Kildare town’s local area development plan.

A community forum is being formed, organised by County Kildare Leader Partnership, to get the views of how the town should be developed in the coming years.

Everyone interested in being part of the process is invited to attend a series of public meetings.

The first one will take place on at 7.30pm in Aras Bhride Parish Centre.

The meeting is open to everyone in the town.

Published Date: 22 March 2010, Leinster Leader

Hotelier’s site permission rejected a third time

March 18, 2010

AN BORD Pleanála has unanimously overruled the local authority and refused permission for an “integrated tourism and leisure development” including golfing facilities at Palmerstown Demesne in Co Kildare.

It is the third time in less than 10 years that the planning board has turned down hotelier Jim Mansfield for such a development at this location. In a decision described by An Taisce as “very significant and comprehensive”, the board overruled Kildare County Council’s approval of the scheme on a number of grounds, including that sewage issues “would be prejudicial to public health”.

The proposed development, with a gross floor area of 67,358.5sq metres (725,047sq ft), was to have included a hotel with 170 bedrooms and 26 suites, 46 “golf lodges”, 105 town houses, eight retail units and parking for 615 cars.

An Bord Pleanála noted the scheme would ultimately be connected to the Osberstown sewage treatment plant, which discharges into the river Liffey upstream of a major source of drinking water for the greater Dublin area. Given the plant was already operating beyond its design capacity, it said the proposed development would be premature pending an expansion of this plant’s capacity and would, therefore, be “prejudicial to public health”.

A proposed temporary onsite effluent treatment and disposal system “would represent a disorderly approach to development and would pose an unacceptable risk of pollution of groundwater and indirectly of nearby sensitive surface waters”. The board considered that the proposed hotel, located adjacent to an existing golf clubhouse and within view of Palmerstown House, “would, by reason of its design, scale and excessive bulk . . . seriously injure the visual amenities of the area”.

The board also ruled that “golf lodges” within the historic demesne landscape “would unacceptably erode the integrity of the landscape and detract from its quality”, contrary to architectural heritage protection guidelines.

Such development would also “run contrary to the policies of the Kildare County Development Plan” to control development of housing in rural areas and “would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

An Bord Pleanála’s decision was welcomed yesterday by An Taisce’s heritage officer, Ian Lumley, who said it represented a “major endorsement of An Taisce’s public interest role in strategic planning, environmental and heritage protection”.

He added that the ruling also “reflects the continuing role of An Bord Pleanála in overturning major local authority decisions on a wide number of major grounds. The question must be asked: why are so many local authority decisions so badly wrong?”

On two previous occasions, An Taisce successfully appealed against decisions by Kildare County Council to approve earlier schemes by Mr Mansfield’s company, Bridford Developments Ltd, to develop a Citywest-style resort at Palmerstown Demesne.

The 732-acre demesne is located on the N7, opposite the village of Johnstown 3km northeast of Naas. It was acquired by Mr Mansfield for €12.7 million in 2001 and has a golf course and driving range.

Irish Times, Thursday, 4 March 2010

New waste water treatment plant for Kildare Town gets the nod

March 18, 2010

The Dáil has rubberstamped funding for Kildare town’s new waste water treatment plant, which will cost over E20 million.

The news of the E17.6m funding came through last Friday from the Department of the Environment and has been greeted with delight in Kildare town.

Contractors EPS/SIAC, who won the tender competition run by Kildare County Council to construc the new plant, are expected to commence work shortly.

The long-awaited works will upgrade and expand the sewerage infrastructure in Kildare town. Local commentators said it will give an economic boost to the town. Economic growth and development has been stymied in Kildare town because planning permissions are conditional on the new treatment system coming online. (more…)

Huge opposition growing to plan for bioenergy electricity plant in Naas

March 10, 2010

RESIDENTS and politicians are lining up to oppose plans for a E12.5m bioenergy electricity-generating plant at Kerdiffstown, Naas, close to the M7 motorway, despite assurances they have nothing to worry about.

 M&M Coldstores, based at the Newbridge Industrial Estate, have applied for permission to construct the facility including two anaerobic digesters as well as up to a dozen storage tanks.

The application also embraces gas flares.

According to the company, the plant will be 500 metres from the nearest resident and the plant will provide green electricity for 20 per cent of the local population (4,000 houses) and provide hot water to local businesses.

A total of 15 permanent jobs will be provided immediately and 50 jobs after it is built.

Local councillors have been urging people to object to the application on the basis that animal carcasses and sewage would be processed at the plant to create energy. This was dismissed by the developer who said organic waste, generated by local businesses – essentially food and water byproducts – will be used.

Objections must be received by next Monday, March 15, and a decision is due on April 4.

Householders fear the plant will create smells and could pose a health risk for people living in the area as well as having implications for amenities, property prices and local business. (more…)

High Court must consider issue of EIS Statement

March 2, 2010

Abbeydrive Development Ltd -v- Kildare County Council.

Supreme Court Judgment was delivered by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns on February 18th, 2010; Ms Justice Susan Denham, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, Mr Justice Geoghegan and Mr Justice Nial Fennelly concurring.


A previous Supreme Court judgment, that a planning permission was deemed to have been granted by Kildare County Council, which had failed to give a decision within the prescribed period, should be remitted to the High Court to consider the issue of an Environmental Impact Assessment, which should have been considered under an EU directive.

The Supreme Court also ruled that An Taisce should be heard at any hearing that might take place.


The case concerned a “default” planning permission which was deemed to have been obtained by the appellants on appeal of a decision of the High Court.

The Supreme Court had ruled the applicant was entitled to a declaration under the 2000 Planning and Development Act that the planning authority, the county council, having failed to make a decision on the applicant’s application within the prescribed period, be deemed to have given such decision on the last day of that period.

The original planning application in 2002 was accompanied by an environment impact statement (EIS).

An Taisce, as a prescribed body under the 2000 Act, was notified of the application and made a submission. It received no further correspondence until January 2007 when it was informed that the planning application had been deemed withdrawn. In fact, this was not so and the letters stating this were totally misleading.

Therefore An Taisce was totally unaware of the proceedings relating to the default permission in either the High Court or the Supreme Court until it was reported in a newspaper in July 2009.

It sought to appeal to An Bord Pleanála but the appeal was deemed invalid because it was outside the permitted period for making an appeal. (more…)

Superquinn has big plans for its E20 million Naas site

January 4, 2010

THE relocation of the Superquinn store in Naas is reportedly set to include a cinema and leisure complex. The supermarket giant is proposing to move its existing supermarket operation from its current location on the Main Street in Naas to the site of the former St. Patrick’s Community College on the Newbridge Road.

Early in 2008 Superquinn paid more than n20m for the site – at a time when property was significantly more valuable.

According to the company it will be in partnership with other companies for the development, which will also include shop units, an off licence, cafe and an underground car park.

If the project goes ahead it will be competition with the Storm Cinema complex on the outskirts of the town and the recently opened cinema development in Newbridge at the Whitewater shopping centre.

The new location would offer the retailer more space than its existing location off Main Street which is regularly congested due to the confined nature of the site.

The site of the former VEC will mean that Superquinn can increase the size of the grocery floor space and also improve on car parking and accessibility.

Former owner, Senator Feargal Quinn sold the then family business in 2005 for around n450 million to Select Retail Holdings, which is backed by a number of businessmen.

Source:  Leinster Leader

Published Date: 30 December 2009

By Paul O’Meara