IMAGINE having an address on Funeral Walk, or maybe Coffin Close? The likelihood of such macabre possibilities were brought to the fore at the monthly meeting of Kildare Co Council on 27 January when the subject of naming new residential developments was raised.
“I noticed a new estate near me called ‘School Walk’, which is between a school and a funeral parlour, and it could have just as easily been called ‘Funeral Walk,’” said Cllr Brendan Wyse, to a hearty chorus of chuckle in the Chamber.
Maybe there should be some sort of approval given to the people in the neighbourhood?” he asked rhetorically.
Despite the subject’s levity there was some method to his motion, where he sought that an amendment be added to the Planning SPC document – ‘Namimg New Residential Developments’ – requiring that any new name be approved by the members of the Municipal District in which it is to be located.
He suggested the developer in question might be asked to “submit three ideas” for the members’ perusal.
“If somewhere is going to be called something for eternity, maybe there should be more thought in it?” he mused.
However, the Head of Planning, Eoghan Ryan, explained that “the policy on naming new residential developments was agreed by the Planning SPC in February 2018, [and] this is contained in the County Development Plan (CDP) 2017-23”.
“It’s also CDP policy that we try to have the name in keeping with the intrinsic nature of the place,” he added.
Cllr Ida Cussen then pointed out that the CDP also requires that new names be presented “equally bi-lingually”.
Meeting chair and Mayor of Kildare Cllr Suzanne Doyle pointed out that sometimes the matter may be out of elected representatives hands.
“The rider here is once an estate has to have its name registered with the ESB [for a first connection] the job is done,” she said.
This was supported by Mr Ryan’s formal reply to the motion when he pointed out that though it is “common practice for developers to seek compliance with residential naming conditions when a request is being made for ESB connection, [it] may not suit the timing of an MD meeting” and suggested the SPC “could review the matter”.