HARSH words were exchanged at Kildare County Council’s monthly meeting during zoning decisions on the Newbridge local area plan.
Fine Gael Cllr. Michael Noland, supported by Cllr. Fiona O’Loughlin (FF) led the Kildare area committee to pass a number of zoning motions relating to Tescos, Woodies, Cox’s, Newbridge Silverware, and others.in the town centre.
While the exact voting pattern were sometimes difficult to establish, a narrow majority voted against the recommendation of the County Manager and planning officials in a number of decisions which could have a key impact on the town.
Cllr. Padrigh McEvoy spoke agaisnt a number and Cllr. John McGinley described some as “an absolute disgrace.”
Cllr. Nolan said some changes should have been made before this and it seemed planners were trying to kick them down. “Don’t say we make bad planning decisions. I am taking offence at what is coming from the top table,” he said.
In a heated discussion, County Manager, Michael Malone, at one point rejected some of Cllr. Nolan’s comments as “scurrilous.”.
Among its 18 motions, the Council voted to retain the town centre of status of Tesco’s and Woodies instead of a retail/commercial designation recommended by the Mangaer.
Planners argued that it will undermine the town centre by expanding it too far, weakening it.
A proposal to change Kildangan Stud to an enterprise designation was narrowly lost 7-6..
Cllr. Padraig McEvoy said some decisions could set the plan up for a legal challenge by the Minister or a third party.
A proposal to reinstate Molloy owned down zoned land at Morristownbillar, formerly residential, was defeated.