Leixlip Town Council briefed on Wonderful Barn proposals

LEIXLIP Town Councillors have been privately briefed about tentative plans for the Wonderful Barn and its lands.

LEIXLIP Town Councillors have been privately briefed about tentative plans for the Wonderful Barn and its lands.

At an in-committee hearing, closed to the general public, on 5 March councillors heard of proposals for development at the Barn and surrounding the historical building, the Leinster Leader understands.

In the recent years the conically shaped Barn and its surrounds has been seen as an opportunity for future community developments for the people of Leixlip and north Kildare. But it has also been plagued with vandalism and antisocial behaviour problems.

In the past, the Leixlip Town Councillor has supported the idea of Kildare County Council turning the area into a Heritage Centre for north Kildare

There was worry in 2009 when it emerged that over €300,000 spent on private security Kildare County Council failed to prevent damage to the building.

In October 2010, the Town Council was told that work costing between €180,000 and €190,000 had started to protect the Barn from further deterioration, the money coming from KCC and the Heritage Council.

Town Manager, Peter Minnock, signaled then it would require further “significant funding”.

A decision by Kildare County Council to enable garden allotments on nearby Council-owned land was helping. A nearby site has planning permission for housing.

Spending has approached €1m. For some time, the question has been its future.. “We have tried to get funds from everywhere,” he has said.

Before the last election former Minister of State for OPW, Martin Mansergh, visited the site. “It comes down to what we can do to help ourselves,” said Mr. Minnock afterwards.

- Henry Bauress