Kildare County Council offices
A major building products company wants permission to continue sand and gravel extraction operations near Kilcullen.
Kilsaran concrete is seeking the go ahead to maintain sand/gravel extraction and processing on a 212 acre site which is near the town and between Two Mile House and Athgarvan.
If granted, it will mean the lifespan of the site has been extended to 43 years - between 1997 and 2040.
This application, which will be decided by Kildare County Council next month, is a follow on from a permission granted in 2007 for ten years and which itself followed an initial permission granted about a decade earlier.
Kilsaran, one of the country’s foremost supplies of concrete and building products, also wants to build a control cabin, canteen, electricity substation, fuel tanks as well as crushing, washing and screening plants.
It also wants to to continue to use an internal access road and the site access onto the R448 (the main Naas-Kilcullen road).
The application also seeks approval for a mortar plant with a ramp hopper and conveyor and a drying plant (28 feet high), a storage and mixing plant 77 feet high and bucket elevators up to 81 feet high along with silos, a prefab office andand car parking areas..
It also wants to build a mortar bagging plant and a storage hall.
The new works envisaged include a an office building a tile manufacturing plant, car parking, weighbridges extension of sand and gravel “to the south west of previously permitted extraction area”.
Documents submitted on the company’s behalf pot out ath ano restoration has taken place on the site because of “operational considerations and due to the reduced output experienced at the site during the recent recession”. The company plans to spend two years restoring the site after this permission (if it’s approved) has expired.
It points out that a previously operated Kilsaran site at Halverstown has been fully restored to agricultural use.
It says there is little impact in terms of dust generation outside the site.
The company also says that traffic generation is neutral.
The application has attracted a raft of objections from residents as well as Castlemartin Stud and the Kilcullen.
Some 50 individuals have made submissions to KCC, the majority of which effectively object to the proposal.
Ceann comhairle and Fianna Fail TD Sean O Fearghail said local residents are very concerned at any intensification of the established use and is concerned that “all movements on and off the site be properly regularly ad monitored.”
Referring to the tile manufacturing proposal, Dep. O Fearghail said the impact of this should be measured on the existing tile manufacturing operation at Tegral, Athy.
Kilcullen Community Action, a voluntary development group set up in 1999, wants any increase in heavy goods vehicle movements to be covered by a planning conditions and subject to to monitoring. KCA also says there have been issues with noise and dust in the past.
The owner of Castlemartin si seeking assurances that there will be no detrimental impact on equine stud farms or livestock in the area.
A resident objected on the basis that the application is for “large factory in the middle of the countryside.”
Another said any increased traffic levels will add to discomfort and increase the safety risk and the inclusion of a tilemanurfacuting plant “changes the use of the site from sand and gravel extraction to a manufacturing facility.”
Another submission contended that if the application is successful it will create extra traffic, reduce air quality and create further vibration. It added the existing pit can be clearly seen, is unsightly and “spoils the surrounding countryside.”