Major retirement village could be on the way for Rathangan

At the site of the Old Mill

Paul O'Meara

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Paul O'Meara

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paul@leinsterleader.ie

Major retirement village could be on the way for Rathangan

The historic grain store in Rathangan will be transformed

The first purpose-built Age Friendly town centre development in Kildare is to be developed in Rathangan — on the site of an historic grain store.

The store, situated between the Slate River and the Grand Canal, was once a main economic driver for Rathangan and provided many families with much needed employment.

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Local businessman Raymond Conlan is behind the development which will allow help older people to remain living in Rathangan town centre and he aims to deliver a vibrant, all inclusive town centre site that he believes will help the town achieve its development potential in line with the Kildare County Development Plan.

Traditionally older people have been accommodated in edge of town centres or out of town centre, nursing home locations, sometimes away from families, people and town centre life. This development aims to reverse that trend and create an all-inclusive development close to all existing town centre amenities and in close proximity to couples, families and people.

It is not dissimilar to the successful McAuley Place development in Naas, which has an input from all generations.

Research by Age Friendly Ireland shows that older people achieve a higher standard of living and live longer when located in town centre locations close to amenities and urban life.

Irelands and Kildare population demographics show that people are living longer and are in better health for longer.

The 5.8 acre site currently consists of a distinct detached three storey stone walled grain store which will be returned to its former glory and will be used as a small apart-hotel and will form the gateway to the site that will also house an 80-bedroom age friendly nursing home with ancillary step-down housing. It’s hoped it will encourage older people to stay in Rathangan and retain independence to live close to the town centre.

“It is also planned to provide additional family orientated housing, creating a multi-use site allowing older people, young families and professional couples to contribute to a complete town centre development with a hint of rural living,” said planning specialist Derek Whyte. who is coordinating the plan.

A footbridge over the river is planned which will link the development with the town’s main street.