The previous public meeting held on the development
‘Elation but for all the wrong reasons’ was how the decison to turn down the housing plans for Magee Barracks in Kildare town was welcomed locally.
“I was elated until I read the report,” said Cllr Suzanne Doyle, who was one of a number of concerned residents of Kildare who made a submission on the application to An Bord Pleanala for 264 dwellings, three retail units, a cafe and creche at the former Magee Barracks site (see left).
“We were so disappointed when we read that the planners are looking for a higher density of housing and a greater mix of one and two bed houses. We’re going to be worse off now. I know we are in the middle of a housing crisis but only 20 per cent of these houses will be for social housing.”
The original submission from the Kildare Town Concerned Residents stated that the proposed development’s over-emphasis on residential development will “push Kildare town further down the line of being a commuter town serving Dublin city”.
It raised concerns over lack of resources in Kildare town, specifically the inadequate GP numbers to service new households and educational concerns.
“These issues are all still valid,” said Cllr Doyle.
“Kildare town is a town that is struggling in terms of resources on the medical and educational front and in terms of employment. We need long-term employment in the town and we will going back to the Minister to seek the compensation owed from the sale of the site. We are a commuter town and most of the revenue stream goes to Dublin Corporation, yet we deliver all the services.”
Other areas of concern include an inadequate emphasis on cultural and community facilities that they claim is currently lacking; ongoing traffic concerns and whether the proposed development has taken into consideration how future occupants of the proposed dwellings will be catered for in terms of education provision.
While local residents still fully support the development, it must have a significant positive impact on the town and local economy.
Cllr Mark Lynch welcomed the decision.
“I would like to see the old historic buildings being maintained and fully agree and support the An Bord Pleanala decision to refuse planning permission. A mixture of high quality high rise apartments and commercial office space is required at the Magee Barracks site,” he said.
A public meeting will be held for concerned residents in Kildare town over the next few weeks.