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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

Minutes of Special Planning Meeting
held at 2.00 p.m. on Friday, 5 November 2010 at
Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

Members Present: Councillor B Weld (Mayor); Councillors S Griffin, M Nolan, T Lawlor,
S Langan, C Purcell, K Byrne, J McGinley, F Browne, M Wall, P McEvoy, P Kelly, S. Moore, C Murphy, L Doyle, M Miley, W Callaghan, S Doyle, P Kennedy, P MacNamara, R Daly, D Scully.

Apologies: Councillors T O’Donnell, M Heydon, F. O’Loughlin

Also Present: Mr M Malone, County Manager, Mr J Lahart (Director of Services), 
C Talbot (Meetings Administrator), Michael Kenny (Senior Planner), Anita Sweeney (Snr. Exec. Planner), Caroline Shinners, Mary Foley and other officials.

The Mayor called for a minute’s reflection.

Suggested Procedures for County Development Plan meetings

Charlie Talbot outlined the following procedures which he suggested should be agreed by the members:

The development plan is a major public document and will chart a course for the county over the period 2011-2017. 6,550 submissions have been received and circulated to members.

A series of council meetings begins today for the following purposes:

  • To consider the submissions which have been received on the draft plan;
  • To consider the manager’s report on the submissions;
  • To consider the motions of which notice has been given by members;
  • To consider any other matter of concern to members in relation to the draft plan;
  • To consider the draft plan and ensure that it meets the needs of the county;
  • To amend the draft plan, if that is considered necessary, as a result of the afore-mentioned considerations;
  • To make the county development plan or to amend the draft plan consequent on the afore-mentioned considerations and actions.

It is important, for the sake of accuracy and efficiency, that the meeting proceeds in a structured way. Standing orders are not of themselves adequate to deal with all the aspects of the business to be undertaken.

We suggest:

  1. That the council take the draft plan as it stands before today’s meeting, and consider it chapter-by-chapter.
  2. That in dealing with individual chapters that the council operate on the basis that nothing is finally agreed in respect of that chapter until all of the motions, other issues raised by members and the consideration of the chapter have been dealt with, and the members have agreed or not agreed the content of the manager’s report and agreed to any amendments consequent on these processes.
  3. As the first step in dealing with any chapter of the draft plan that the motions submitted by members and listed on the agenda be considered; and where these relate to particular submissions in the Managers Report that these be considered at the same time
  4. As the second step in dealing with any chapter, that the members consider the manager’s report on the submissions relating to it; apart from those motions already considered by the members in C above
  5. As the third step in dealing with any chapter that the members consider any other issues arising relating to the specific chapter of the Draft County Kildare Development Plan.
  6. As the fourth step in dealing with any chapter that the members consider any other issues of concern raised by one or more of their number;
  7. That the council decide at the conclusion of its consideration of each chapter to agree finally on the content of the chapter, as amended or not, in accordance with the foregoing considerations;
  8. That at the conclusion of this series of meetings, the council decide to affirm the text of the draft plan in accordance with its earlier decisions on the individual chapters and to make the county development plan or amend the draft accordingly.

 

In reply to questions from the members Charlie said that exceptional items or unforeseen issues could be raised at the last meeting but it was preferable to take each chapter of the Manager’s Report in turn and finish with them in one go.  Having regard to the fact that there had been a meeting of the Technical Working Group that morning at which new issues had been raised, it was agreed that the members could submit motions for the meeting of 12th November as late as Monday 8th November.  In reply to a question from Cllr. Lawlor about seeing the Amendments Report before it is published, John Lahart referred to the very tight timeframe for producing the Report and said it may not be possible.  Cllr. Griffin said the members had a right to put motions/proposals/amendments from the floor and Charlie Talbot said there was also a legal requirement to produce agendas for meetings within prescribed timeframes.  Cllr. Nolan asked that responses to the motions tabled for 12th November be circulated in advance and John Lahart said every effort would be made to do so but they had to be referred to the SEA Consultants first.  In reply to a question from Cllr. Murphy the Manager said there was provision for a further contingency meeting on 24th November if necessary.

It was agreed on the proposal of Cllr. McGinley, seconded by Cllr. Moore, to adopt the suggested procedures for the County Development Plan meetings.

Chapter 1 – Introduction & Strategic Context

No  motions.  No further issues on pages 37 & 38.

Manager’s recommendations on submissions to Chapter 1 Agreed

Chapter 5 – Economic Development

Motion1. Cllr. P. McEvoy

That in 5.9.8, Agriculture Based Tourism, policy ED 39, additional activities be included: ‘walking, eco-tourism, open farms, pet farms’. Explanation: This will be consistent with the Regional Planning Guidelines – 5.4.2 – Rural Tourism

Manager’s Response – Noted & Agreed

Manager’s Recommendation – To amend objective ED 39 (Section5.9.8) to now read as follows; ‘To support agri-tourism initiatives including visitor accommodation and supplementary activities such as organic / farmers’ markets, health farms, heritage and nature trails, pony trekking, and boating, walking, eco-tourism, open farms and pet farms, ensuring that all built elements are appropriately designed and satisfactorily assimilated into the landscape’.

Agreed

Motion 2. Cllr. P. McEvoy

That in 5.7.2 – Agriculture – an additional paragraph be included: Land-use and agriculture should be considered in the context of the Single Payments Scheme which is leading to a fundamental shift in farming practice. Up to now all land has been regarded primarily as agricultural. In the future, commonage and other rough grazing land should be regarded primarily as an environmental/ recreational resource. The role of farmers as custodians of the natural resources of the countryside be recognised and supported.

Manager’s Response – It is not a function of the Development Plan to have regard to the Single Payments Scheme in the preparation of the County Development Plan.  It is implied that lands under the SPS regime, commonage and other rough grazing land should be zoned for environmental and recreational uses.  It would be considered overly restrictive on farming practices should all such lands be zoned in this manner and farmers rights would be affected.

Manager’s Recommendation – No change

Following a brief discussion the Manager’s recommendation was agreed.

Motion 3. Cllr. A. Lawlor

That we accept this submission 253 (l)

Manager’s Response – Submission 253 (l) requested that Newbridge be included as a Primary Economic Growth Town.

Naas, Maynooth and Leixlip are designated as Primary Economic Growth Towns under the recently adopted RPGs 2010 – 2022.  Newbridge is designated as being part of the economic cluster of Naas/Newbridge/Kilcullen.  The RPG’s, which Kildare County Council is obliged to comply with, set out the economic strategy for the region in line with the NSS and other national planning guidelines.  The Draft CDP has worked within the framework established by the NSS at national level and Regional Planning Guidelines at regional level with respect to the economic strategy

Manager’s Recommendation – No change

Agreed

Motion 4. Cllr. A. Lawlor

Disagree with Manager’s recommendation. This should deal with land that is in public ownership. (Sub. 252 (d)) 252 (d) was summarised as follows: Section 5.9.5 (Inland Waterways Tourism Policy) – Request that this policy be expanded as follows; ‘Land adjacent to river banks and lakes will be reserved for public access and the council will create linear parks to facilitate walking/cycling routes’

Manager’s Response – It is considered reasonable that where opportunities arise, development lands in both public and private ownership, where these lands adjoin riverbanks/lakes should be opened up for public access and amenity use.  This would provide scope for the comprehensive development of a linear park and associated walking and cycling routes.  Furthermore Chapters 7 and 14 of the Draft CDP as proposed to be amended in the Manager’s Report set out further guidance with regard to set backs from river bodies.

Manager’s Recommendation – It is proposed to amend the Manager’s Recommendation in the Manager’s Report with regard to Section 5.9.5 to now read as follows: ‘It is the policy of the Council to encourage walking and recreational facilities, where development opportunities arise along riverbanks and lakes.  In this regard land adjacent to river banks and lakes will be reserved for public access and where linear parks are designed and developed provision shall be made for walking and cycling routes.’

Manager’s recommendation agreed.

Motion 5. Cllr. T. O’Donnell

That section 5.8.1 should include a specific reference to the policy objective of delivering a County Museum in Kildare Town.

Manager’s Response – It is not the intention that Section 5.8.1 refer to specific policies/objectives as these are listed in Sections 5.9 and 5.10 respectively.  With regard to the specific policy to deliver a County Museum in Kildare Town, it should be noted that the Manager, in the Manager’s Report, has recommended a change to the Draft CDP as follows: To replace policy AC5 (section 11.14.5), with the following: ‘To develop Kildare Town as a tourism centre within the County and seek the development of a museum in Kildare Town.  This museum may be a branch of the National Museum of Ireland and should be centrally located’.

Manager’s Recommendation – No further changes proposed.

Cllr. S. Doyle seconded Cllr. O’Donnell’s motion.  Cllr. McGinley proposed that the Manager’s recommendation be adopted. 

Agreed by 11 votes to 5 to accept the Manager’s recommendation.

Motion 6. Cllr. C. Murphy

Submissions 132 (Castletown Foundation), 350 (Members of Kildare County Council –various), 290 (Maynooth Community Council) and 328 (The Liffey Valley Park Alliance) all effectively look for a clustering of sites and locations which are not contained within one Local Area Plan (various locations). We need to include a policy in order that their tourist potential is maximised and where clustering could deliver a positive outcome.

Manager’s Response – It is considered appropriate to amend Policy ED 22 (Section 5.9.4) so that the tourist potential of particular locations in Kildare is maximised having regard to the availability (both existing and proposed) of tourist facilities and services at appropriate locations throughout the county.

Manager’s Recommendation – Amend Policy ED 22 (Section 5.9.4) of the Draft CDP to read as follows: ‘It is the policy of the Council to encourage encourage the clustering of and the promotion of additional tourism products and facilities and services within identified hubs and nodes at appropriate locations throughout the county having regard to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, in order to increase linkages within and reduce leakage from the local economy’.

Agreed

No further motions on submissions on Chapter 5.  The Manager’s recommendations on submissions on pages 91, 92, 93, 94 (except 252(b)), 95 (except 253(l)), 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 (except 350(52)), 105 (except 252(d)), 106, 107, 108, 109 and 110 were agreed. 

Cllr. S. Doyle proposed the following from her submission no. 350(51), page 111: Amend Map 5.4 to reflect racecourse adjacent to Kildare town and equestrian centre, Kildare town has two riding facilities on edge of town.

Seconded by Cllr. Miley.

(51) Manager’s Response

The Curragh Racecourse is already illustrated to be in close proximity to Kildare Town on Map 5.4. It is not necessary to illustrate individual riding centres as the purpose of the map is to illustrate strategic tourism assets. Section 5.9.6 (Sport and Recreation Tourism Policy) includes policies that promote the equine and bloodstock industries in terms of their tourism generating capabilities.

Manager’s Recommendation: No change

The members disagreed with the Manager’s recommendation and adopted Cllr. Doyle’s proposal.

 

Chapter 9 - Retail

Motion 7. Cllrs Byrne, McNamara, Purcell & McGinley

That objective R14 ‘To promote and progress the delivery of the integrated expansion of Celbridge Town Centre on the Donaghcumper lands’ be deleted

Deferred to 17th November

Motion 8. Cllrs. Murphy & McEvoy

Delete the current objective R14 and replace with:

“To secure the continued consolidation of Celbridge town centre subject to

the physical constraints imposed by the exceptional circumstances of the

proximity of Castletown House and Demesne and Donaghcumper House and

Demesne, the need to protect the architectural and historic heritage of the

Georgian streetscape and its protected structures, and the proximity of the

River Liffey and its associated pastoral landscapes.

Deferred to 17th November

Motion 9. Cllr. C. Murphy

I disagree with the manager’s recommendation on this submission as I stated the entire retail strategy needs to take account of a changed economic environment.

Submission 179 (n) was summarised in the Manager’s Report as follows: ‘The question of overprovision of retail space should be considered as part of the Plan.  The entire retail strategy needs to be reviewed.  The Development Plan needs to quantify the extent and type of floor space that puts a town or village into the self-sustaining category.’

Manager’s Response – As part of the preparation of the Draft County Development Plan, the County Retail Strategy was updated and has informed Chapter 9 (Retail) of the Plan.  Both the Draft County Development Plan and Draft County Retail Strategy recognise the issues of the downturn in the economy and its effects on the retail sector.  This has been an important consideration in the Draft County Retail Strategy capacity assessment of the requirement for additional retail floorspace over the Plan period and beyond.  The approach adopted in the Draft County Development Plan and Draft County Retail Strategy has not been to provide the quantum of floorspace that may be appropriate at the individual centre level but rather to set out policies and guidance on what the scope and nature of any additional retail floorspace should be.  The control factor on what is appropriate at each level of the County Retail Hierarchy is guided by the Strategic Policy Framework and assessment criteria for retail developments set out in Section 19.10.1 of the Draft County Development Plan and applicants will be required to demonstrate that they meet these requirements prior to the granting of new planning consents.

Managers Recommendation – No change

Manager’s recommendation agreed.

No further motions on submissions on Chapter 9.  The Manager’s recommendations on submissions on pages  193, 194, 195, 196 (except submission 132(o) deferred to 17/11/10), 197(except sub. 305(s)), 198,  200, 201(except sub. 350(40) & (12)), 202, 203 (except 179(n)), 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210,  212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222(except sub. 350(10) & (11)) were agreed.

In relation to submission 350 on page 199 Cllr. S. Doyle asked that Policy R21 be strengthened to specify a sequential approach to development.  It was agreed that she would submit a motion with specific wording for the meeting on 17th November.

In relation to submission 350 on page 211 Cllr. S. Doyle sought to change the zonings for large multiple convenience shopping centres.  Again it was agreed that she should submit a specific motion for consideration at the meeting on 17th November.

Chapter 15 – Urban Design Guidance

Motion 10. Cllr. C. Murphy

The design of lanes connecting housing estates or within housing estates should not be so long that they are not visible from each end, they should be of sufficient width to allow complete visibility, they should be designed in such a way that motor bikes etc are restricted they should require a higher standard of lighting than is usual within housing estates. This should be in addition to passive security. (Sub. 179)

Manager’s Response – It is considered reasonable to include an objective taking those issues raised into account.

Manager’s Recommendation – Insert the following as an additional bullet point in Section 19.4.6 ‘The design of lanes connecting housing estates or within housing estates should be of sufficient width to allow for the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists.  Laneways should be adequately overlooked and lit and not be excessive in length’.

Cllr. Kelly seconded Cllr. Murphy’s motion and said her wording was preferable to the Manager’s in trying to deal with this difficult problem.  It was agreed that Cllr. Murphy would discuss the issue with Michael Kenny and revert with suitable wording for a future meeting.

No further motions on submissions on Chapter 15.  The Manager’s recommendations on submissions on pages  411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417(except 179(l)), 418, 419, 420 were agreed.

Chapter 16 – Rural Design Guidance

No motions received.  The Manager’s recommendations on pages 423, 424 & 425 were agreed.  A discussion took place on submission 108 on page 423 whereby the members wished to be more prescriptive in relation to rural design. John Lahart proposed and it was agreed to insert the following wording “During the lifetime of this Plan, it shall be an objective to prepare further guidance regarding how the principles of this chapter can be further implemented.”  They also asked that image 16.13 be removed as it was not suitable for Kildare.  John Lahart urged them to accept the Manager’s recommendation and this was agreed.

Chapter 19 - Development Management Standards

11. Cllr. P. McEvoy

That section 19.1.1 on enforcement is amended with the bold text as follows:

19.1.1 Enforcement

Planning enforcement deals with developments / uses where the development / use is in breach of planning laws and is, therefore unauthorised development. It will continue to be the policy of Kildare County Council to use all powers conferred by law to ensure that development only takes place with the benefit of a valid planning permission and that all conditions attached to planning permissions are complied with in the development. The Planning Authority has powers under the Planning & Development Acts 2000 – 2010, to take enforcement action where development (either works or uses) is in breach of the planning laws and therefore, considered to be unauthorised.

In cases where development has commenced or is being carried out without planning permission or in breach of permission, the Council will initiate enforcement action, having regard to the provisions of Part VIII of the Planning and Development Act as amended.

The enforcement provisions contained in the Planning & Development Act 2000 incorporate the ‘polluter pays’ principle. If a person has carried out unauthorised development, they will have to pay the Planning Authority’s costs in investigating and for enforcing the breach.

The Planning & Development Act 2000 provides a more stream lined enforcement regime with four enforcement mechanisms provided for:

• Criminal Prosecution;

• Enforcement Notice procedure followed by a prosecution, or;

• Enforcement Action in default of compliance with an Enforcement Notice, and;

• Planning Injunction.

A development is unauthorised when:

• Planning permission is required and has not been obtained.

• Planning permission was granted but the development is not being carried out in accordance with the plans lodged or conditions of the planning permission granted, and ;

• It does not comply with all the conditions and limitations to qualify a development as exempt.

Manager’s Response – Kildare County Council will continue to initiate enforcement action having regard to the provisions of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2010.  It is not considered necessary to insert the text as proposed as the detail of legislation relating to unauthorised development is outlined in full in the Planning Acts and Regulations.

Manager’s Recommendation – No change

Cllr. McEvoy requested that the wording  be strengthened and it was agreed that he would revert with new words at the next meeting.

12. Cllr. McEvoy

That an additional Standard be included: Fencing in upland or amenity areas will not normally be permitted unless such fencing is essential to the viability of the farm and conforms to best agricultural practice. The nature of the material to be used, the height of the fence, and in the case of a wire fence the type of wire to be used will be taken into account. Barbed-wire will not be used for the top line of wire. Stiles or gates at appropriate places will be required.

Manager’s Response – Exemptions for Fencing in rural areas are included in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended).  Any fencing that is not exempt under the Regulations would require a planning application. 

Manager’s Recommendation – No change

Manager’s recommendation agreed

13. Cllr. T. O’Donnell

Notwithstanding the Manager’s recommendation to submission 180, that the additional bullet in 19.4.5 should instead read as follows;

‘The location of apartment blocks in mixed residential developments should be avoided in order to preserve a cohesive and consistent environment for future residents’. (Sub. 180)

The Manager’s Recommendation with regard to submission no. 180 reads as follows: Insert bullet point in section 19.4.5

  • The location of apartment blocks in a mixed residential development shall be carefully considered having regard to factors such as design, height, overlooking, bin storage areas etc.

Manager’s recommendation agreed

14. Cllr. C. Murphy

I am unhappy with the manager’s responses and want the text as submitted to be included in the Development Plan.

Deferred to the 17th November

No further motions on submissions on Chapter 19.  The Manager’s recommendations on submissions on pages   519, 520 (except 350(14)(15)(16)), 521(except sub. 350(17), 522, 523(except sub. 350(18), 524(except sub. 350(19&43) &(180a), 525(except sub. 350 (20,21,22)), 526(except sub. 350(23,24)), 527(except sub. 350(44)), 528(except sub. 350(42)), 529(except sub. 350(25,26)), 530(except sub. 350(28,30)), 531(except sub. 350(31,32,29)), 532(except sub. 350(33,34)), 533, 534, 535(except sub. 350(39)), 536, 537(except 132(mm)(nn)(oo)(pp), 538, 540(except sub. 350(45,35)), 541 to 543 were agreed.

Any Other Business

Technical Working Group

Cllr. S. Doyle reported that the TWG had met earlier in the day and would be submitting motions for the next meeting.  She said it would meet again on Wednesday 10th November at 2pm in the Mayor’s office and all Councillors were invited to attend.  The subjects for discussion are: Housing, Settlement Strategy, Core Strategy, Donaghcomper.

This concluded the business of the meeting.