07 Oct 2022

Simmering anger over failure to open shopping centre in Naas, Kildare


Simmering anger over failure to open shopping centre in Naas, Kildare

Naas Shopping Centre

There is mounting frustration at the delay in opening the Naas Shopping Centre.

A local politician says that there is “deep frustration” that no work has been done on Corban’s Lane and the former Sarah Flood pub site - areas which have been previously earmarked as important to the back entrance to the centre.

Cllr Colm Kenny said that these must be done as a matter of urgency and said that the upgrade scheme formed part of the approval of the project dating back to 2007.

He asked for information about arrangements agreed between KCC and the developer to do this.

Cllr Kenny told a Naas Municipal District meeting on July 12 that the centre centre cannot open unless this is done because the car park could not open.

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He also said that other factors needed to be taken into account such as an expanded Naas CBS and the junction at the Sarah Flood pub site.

He pointed out that planning permission was granted in 2006.

He said traders in Naas want to know when the centre will open and people are asking about the centre.

Kildare County Council recently refused permission to the new owner for a new entrance off the main street and this had been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Cllr Kenny said the developer should be encouraged to deal with these issues.

Cllr Bill Clear claimed that the design for the centre “is changing every six months”.

He also questioned what will happen to the old railway bridge on Friary Road.

This structure was to have been removed according to the original plans to create a flatter surface as part of the route to the rar of the centre.

Cllr Clear said that from a heritage point of view it’s unlikely the removal of the bridge would be permitted now.

He also points out that there are two schools to be considered in the area as well as a small development site.

“I wish the developer would be less worried about the entrance (to the centre),” he said.

But the developer , Roche Group, was defended by Cllr Seamie Moore who said he had nothing to do with what happened in 2006.

“He bought a dereliction, we have to work with him to develop it,” he said, adding that the council sold the site to the original developer in 1998.

Cllr Moore said that nobody would do the work on Corban’s Lane and Sarah Flood’s without first getting permission for the centre.

“We have to wait and let planning permission take its course,” he said.

Pointing out that the council sold the site over two decades ago, he said “we’re sick and tired but the present owner can’t be blamed.”

According to a KCC report the road improvements on Corban’s Lane and Friary Road will have to be done by the developer and this work will be subject to a design agreed with KCC.

KCC says these would be developer driven and the council is not in a position to confirm the timeline.

KCC official Amy Granville said KCC has engaged with the owner “to a huge extent and this is continuing."

“We want to get it developed and finished; we’re looking to resolve it and have it finished as soon as possible,” she added. Responding to a separate request by Cllr Anne Breen for the owners to be contacted to clean up the Sarah Flood site, KCC said this will be investigated by its environment section.

Cllr Breen had asked if fencing could be put up and said it’s an eyesore with a lot of rubbish.

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