PLANNING has been granted for a new public park on the controversial Kerdiffstown landfill, near Naas.
An Bord Pleanála has given the thumbs-up for the development, which will see the former landfill transformed into a public space with sports pitches, a playground and wildlife areas.
“Upon completion, the works will significantly reduce the potential environmental impact the site could have on the surrounding area,” said spokesperson for Kildare County Council Maura McIvor.
“This will put an end to all issues that have resulted in odours in the past, and pave the way for a new public park, which is a much-needed asset for the expanding populations of Naas, Sallins, Johnstown, Kill and beyond.”
The park design includes three all-weather sports pitches (two full-size, one smaller), a children’s playground, nature and wildlife areas and walking routes.
“As the park will be located on the site of a former landfill, it will need continuous aftercare and environmental monitoring by Kildare County Council,” she added.
The details of this aftercare will be stipulated in the EPA licences the council must obtain before remediation can begin, and these licences ensure that the upkeep and maintenance of the site/park will always be a priority.
“Furthermore, the licences will include security measures such as fencing, controlled access, and other arrangements, so the park will be a very secure area,” she said.
The council submitted an application for a remediation licence to the EPA in September 2017 and a decision on this is expected this summer. “The council hopes that contractors will be in place to commence works by quarter three, 2019. Once underway, works are projected to take six years to complete. In the meantime, Kildare County Council will expedite the other actions needed to prepare for the remediation, including road upgrades, archaeological investigations, acquiring lands, and site investigations and assessments.”
Ms McIvor said the project team will continue to meet residents and stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to ensure that all interested parties are kept fully informed about progress at the site and to answer any questions arising.
The site is managed on a day-to-day basis by a dedicated site manager, a team of security personnel, and other staff to control the run-off water that percolates through the waste and landfill gas.
“Kildare County Council will continue to issue community updates as remedial works on the site take place,” she said.