Sallins Community Council's Fergus Carpenter protesting in 2016 at KCC offices about a lack of land
Kildare County Council is resisting pressure to allow the public access to recreation lands it owns near the canal in Sallins.
Although the 33 acres was bought by KCC at the end of 2016, it is not known when the amenity will be made available to sports and community groups in Sallins.
But according to local councillor Carmel Kelly, arrangements must be made “immediately” to allow clubs access to the lands “due to the chronic need for playing fields in the village.”
Cllr Kelly told a Naas Municipal district meeting that while the land was bought 14-15 months ago “it’s not being made available to the community.”
She said the GAA club has 58 teams and just one and a half pitches and the Sallins Celtic soccer club has 200 members and relies on two pitches it doesn’t own.
“We need access to these lands,” she said, adding that this could be done via Millbank.
Cllr Seamie Moore likened the situation to “having a birthday cake in front of hungry people.”
He suggested that plans to develop the site could be done for half of the land while opening up the other half. Cllr Fintan Brett said there is no reason why it can’t be use d for training purposes.
Cllr Darren Scully said the councillors had worked hard to ensure the land was provided and there would be little or no cost involved in opening it.
He said it’s up to the councillors to decide what is done, adding that it might otherwise be 2019 before a planned opening is possible.
KCC official Simon Wallace said that allowing temporary access has in the past “compromised developing amenity lands to their maximise use.”