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Minutes of the Special Meeting of Kildare County Council on Friday 18th April 2008 at 11am in Áras Chill Dara, Naas

 

Members Present: Councillors M. Glennon Mayor, D. Fitzpatrick, B. Weld, B. Hillis, J. McGinley, F. Browne, T.  McEvoy, L. Doyle, W. Callaghan, P. Kelly, S. Griffin, S. Doyle, F. O’Loughlin, F. Dukes, R. Hendy, M. Nolan, JJ Power & G. Conway

 

Apologies: Councillor M. Dalton

 

In attendance: M. Malone Co. Manager, J. Lahart DOS & other officials

 

Vote of Sympathy

 

The Mayor proposed a vote of sympathy to family of the late Dr. Patrick Hillary, former President of Ireland who had died recently.

Cllr. L. Doyle proposed a vote of sympathy to the family of the late Ed Houlihan, Chairman of the Kildare Conference of the Sister Cities Programme in Lexington, Kentucky, also recently deceased.

The members paid tribute to both men.

The Mayor proposed that the Council be represented at Mr. Houlihan’s funeral and it was agreed  to send Cllr. Liam Doyle because of his involvement with twinning and his personal friendship with Ed Houlihan.

The meeting adjourned for five minutes as a mark of respect.

01/0408special

Skills Register Project

 

John Lahart referred to the report on the Skills Register Project circulated to the members.  The project involves the compilation of a database the purpose of which is to quantify the level and type of skills in the county including those of people who pass through.  It is directed at potential employers and employees and it is hoped that it will move the dependence away from commuting and help to attract employment to Kildare.

Users will log on to www.itsyourtime.ie, record information about themselves which the Council will make available to interested parties.  The campaign would be launched the following week in the print and broadcast media, on posters, by flyer to every home and in the Punchestown race card.

In reply to questions from the members John Lahart said that personal information would not be made available to third parties.  KCC will be the lead authority for the collection and management of the data, through the Economic Development unit.  Some assistance had been received from business interests in the compilation of the questionnaire.  Some information is available already from the recent census but it is not refined enough for these purposes.  The initial cost is c€70K to €100k.   Both NUIM and the IDA will be encouraged to use the information to promote Kildare as an employment area.

The Manager said it was a proactive initiative which he hoped would make a significant difference.  He undertook to keep the members informed of progress.

02/0408special

Continuation of Progress Report on County Development Plan

 

Chapter 17: Heritage

 

John Lahart referred to Chapter 17 which outlines initiatives from the Heritage Plan adopted in 2004.  Cllr. McGinley asked for a copy of the Tree Preservation Orders for each area as he was interested in the oldest tree in Ireland which is located in the Rectory grounds, Maynooth.

Chapters 18 & 19: Landscape Character Areas & Protected Views and Scenic Routes

 

John Lahart referred to the new national framework for the protection of views which was currently in draft form and which, when published, will provide a consistent approach in this area.  Cllr. Dukes reiterated her concern that the protection afforded the Hill of Allen by agreement of the meeting of 3/8/04 would be taken into account when considering the development of the quarry there and John Lahart assured her that the issues agreed would be incorporated into the agreement with the quarry owner.  Cllr. S. Doyle suggested that sometimes less is more when it comes to landscaping and recommended the use of mature trees etc.

Chapters 20 & 21: Architectural Heritage & Architectural Conservation Areas

 

Noted.

Chapter 24: Aerodromes

 

John Lahart referred to the study commissioned on safety at aerodromes.  The contents of the chapter were noted.

Chapter 25: Towns & Villages

 

Cllr. Dukes inquired as to whether there would be a change in the policy of not inviting pre-draft submissions during the review of the Local Areas Plans.  John Lahart said that was the subject of a motion for the Council meeting on 28th April and a report was being prepared at present.

Cllr. Kelly asked whether the strategic study on North East Kildare being prepared by RPS consultants would be made available to the members and whether Collinstown had been added to the study brief.  He also asked whether the LAP review programme would be completed in the timescale outlined.

John Lahart said the work programme extended to end 2009 and outside assistance would be acquired if necessary.  He said the RPS study was a background, working, non-statutory document, still in draft form and not available to third parties.  He said consideration would be given to doing a briefing for the members.  He said the executive had met the Collinstown developers a number of times and good progress had been made.

Councillors Kelly and Griffin said it was the members’ statutory duty to make the decisions on the LAPs and they should be afforded the same opportunity as the executive in relation to having background information to assist them in such decision making.  John Lahart replied that the RPS study was not yet finalised and the members would be kept fully briefed.

03/0408special

To consider material contravention of the County Development Plan 2005-2001 in respect of planning reference 07/177.  The development consists of (1) demolition of two number private dwelling houses, (2) demolition of adjacent workshop and warehousing, (3) construction of new wholesale warehouse, (4) alteration of existing vehicular entrance to adjoining premises (Barrett Heating) to provide vehicular access to proposed development and existing retail outlet, (5) to connect to public sewer and to include all associated site works and landscaping at Dowdstown, Maynooth. Earthridge International Ltd.

 

John Lahart said that a material contravention of the County Development Plan was required in relation to the above proposal which was in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in question.  There had been no objections/submissions to the advertisement of the proposal.  The existing zoning is agricultural.

The proposal to materially contravene the County Development Plan in respect of planning reference 07/177 was made by Cllr. Conway, seconded by Cllr. Griffin and passed by 18 votes in favour of the proposal.

04/0408special

Any Other Business: Collection of Development Contributions

 

Cllr. Power inquired as to the Council’s enforcement policy regarding collection of development contributions.

John Lahart said that non-payment of such contributions constituted an unauthorised development.  The invoice is issued on completion of the development and a number of people were employed in the collection of such contributions.  Payment can be made on a phased basis.

Conclusion

 

This concluded the business of the meeting.