A LARGE housing development has been proposed for Kill Hill and Earl’s Court.
McCourt Investments Limited is applying to build 136 houses on the site. They have already been refused permission by An Bord Pleanála for a previous application of 130 houses on the grounds that not enough housing units were included in the application and sensitivity issues relating to the archaeological monument nearby.
“This application looks very similar,” said senior planner at Kildare Co Council Patricia Conlon.
She talked elected members through the application at the January meeting of Naas Municipal District. The Strategic Housing Development application will be fast tracked to An Bord Pleanála. Any housing development for 100 homes or more can bypass the county council and go straight to the national planning board, a regulation that came in to help ease the housing shortage in the country.
The chief executive of Kildare Co Council must provide a report to An Bord in relation to each SHD and this report must include the views of local representatives.
Ms Scanlon said the developers consider the application to be Phase 3 of Earls Court.
“It’s a sensitive site,” she said.
“It is zoned new residential and it is to the north of St Brigid’s NS.”
This application has been moved back from Kill Hill and the house type has been changed.
It also proposes a heritage trail around Kill Hill in a bid to deal with the sensitivity of the site, she said.
The members were told that if it gets the go ahead the development will take two-and-a-half years and will be complete by the end of 2021.
“It is very similar to the earlier application,” said Cllr Seamie Moore.
“What were our concerns then?”
Ms Conlan said the members had been concerned that there was no creche proposed but the developers assure them that there is extra capacity in neighbouring creches.
Cllr Carmel Kelly questioned whether the proposed 260 car parking spaces would be enough and Ms Conlan said this would be looked at.
Cllr Darren Scully described the whole AHB system as crazy.
“I am always of the view that the people in the county should make the decisions,” he said.
“We are making the same mistakes that were made in 2003. There is nothing in place to support these developments like schools, community facilities or roads. Where are these children going to go to school?
“It is all very well to say we need to build massive developments to deal with the housing crisis but we are making the same mistakes as we did before.”
Ms Conlan said the planning department is concerned that the density of the application is too high but that would be a call that would be made by An Bord Pleanala.
She agreed that the proposed car parking figure is a bit short and that infrastructure is a concern.
“I agree that we should reference concern for where these children will go to school,” she said.
“As officials we have to just deal with the application before us.”