Friday, January 11, 2019

THE views of Naas Municipal District councillors have been sought in relation to a proposed Strategic Housing Development at Bluebell, Kilcullen Road in Naas.

Councillors were given a presentation on the proposed development by Ardstone Homes Ltd. that would include 125 residential units – 97 houses and 28 apartments – on an overall site area of 3.76 hectares and a density of 36 units per hectare. Units would be built with one, two, three and four bedrooms ranging in height from dormer to two-storey, with one and two-bedroom apartments also available in a four-storey block.

Planning applications for developments of more than 100 residential units and over 200 student bed spaces can be made directly to An Bord Pleanála, introduced to speed up the planning application process and hasten the delivery of larger housing and student accommodation proposals.

The application process is completed in two main stages, beginning with a pre-application consultation that requires applicants to consult with the relevant planning authority and then with An Bord Pleanála, who issue an opinion on whether documents submitted “constitute a reasonable basis for an application” or if further consideration or amendments are required.

The second step sees applicants directly submitting a Strategic Housing Development application to the national body – decisions will be given within a mandatory 16-week period that includes a public consultation timeframe and a report submission from the planning authority.

Public submissions for the proposed development in Naas were required to be sent to An Bord Pleanála by 20 December 2018, with a chief executive’s response – that features a summary of the views of the district’s elected members – due by 21 January 2019.

Following the presentation, Cllr Robert Power queried transport links for the proposed development, adding that he would be keen that An Bord Pleanála take this into consideration potential transport challenges. Cllr Carmel Kelly also highlighted the issue of public transport, adding that she is also concerned about capacity for schools in the area.

As part of the documentation submitted by the developer, childcare facilities in the vicinity such as Pipers Hill will be sufficient to cater for demand, the meeting heard. Cllr Seamie Moore raised concerns about this and that developments can cite a crèche located elsewhere.

Councillors were told that while a detailed rationale regarding childcare was submitted, An Bord Pleanála will have the final decision.

This decision is due to be made by 19 March 2019.


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