Naas Town Council turns down rezoning motion

A view of the site from Ploopluck Bridge, Naas, with the canal to the right of the site. Pic: Tony Keane.
Naas Town Councillors voted against a recommendation of council planners to rezone a parcel of land near Ploopluck bridge on the Caragh Road.

Naas Town Councillors voted against a recommendation of council planners to rezone a parcel of land near Ploopluck bridge on the Caragh Road.

Council planners had recommended that councillors vote in favour of a material contravention of the town’s Development Plan which designated the land as open space and amenity use.

The issue arose as a result of an application to build 70 houses in the area.

Planners argued that it was an “strategic location close to the town centre and within walking distance”.

They also noted that at six houses per acre, the potential development was not particularly dense.

93% of the site is already zoned residential. The developer, Le Monde Holdings, had hoped to include the entire site in its plans. Planners pointed out that, under the proposals, 23% of the development will be green space, considereably more than planning regulations call for.

However, at their monthly meeting last Tuesday evening, July 16, councillors expressed concerns about the proposal.

Cllr. Darren Scully noted that the area is prone to flooding and said he wasn’t happy with the proposal.

He added that there is already planning permission in existance for 400 houses in the Kildare area, which has not been taken up.

Cllr. Rionagh Bracken had concerns about the potential effects on the canal and the bridge, a protected structure.

Cllr. Bracken believed in fact that the council should probably be dezoning residential land.

Colrs. Seamie Moore, Willie Callaghan and Pat Clear were in favour of the development, believing it was an appropriate way to develop that part of the town.

Rezoning requires a two-thirds majority, and with four each for and against, it was defeated.

- Conor McHugh