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KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

 

Minutes of Monthly Meeting

held at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 28 March 2011 at

Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare

 

Members Present: Councillor B Weld (Mayor); Councillors F Brett, F Browne, K Byrne, W Callaghan, R Daly, L Doyle, S Doyle, S Griffin, I Keatley, P Kennedy, S Langan, A Larkin, P McEvoy, J McGinley, M Miley, T O'Donnell, F O'Loughlin, F O’Rourke, C Purcell, D Scully and M Wall.

Apologies: Councillor P MacNamara, S Moore and M Nolan

Also Present: Mr M Malone, County Manager, Messrs E O’Sullivan, J Lahart, P Minnock (Directors of Services), M O’Leary (Acting Director of Services) A Aspell (Meetings Administrator) and other officials.

 

_________________________

 

1/0311

Section 140(8)(b) (Local Government Act 2001);

Section 34(7)(a)(i) and (ii) Planning and Development Act 2000.

Planning Register Reference 11/137

 

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillors S Doyle, O’Loughlin, Browne, Nolan and Kennedy:

That the members of Kildare County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 140 of the Local Government Act 2001, require the County Manager to grant permission for the development at planning reference 11/137; it being an application in the name of Shane and Moira Barry, for development which consists of the raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material only to a depth of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35 hectares, vehicle entrance and all associated site works and temporary site works including a site office, 3 no. parking spaces and a wheel wash for the duration of the works at Maddenstown South, Nurney, Co Kildare.

The County Manager advised the members that in considering the motion they were acting in the role of the County Manager, they must act judicially and be aware of the obligations that would fall upon them if the motion is carried. He informed the members that he would be seeking legal advice if the motion is carried.

Ms Aspell reminded the members that in considering a Section 140 motion the following matters are relevant:

• Only matters pertaining to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and the provisions of the County Development Plan can be considered.

• Nothing which should be regarded can be disregarded.

• Only factors which are relevant to the matter can be considered.

• Personal circumstances of the applicant cannot be considered.

• Members considering a proposal under Notice of Motion in accordance with Section 140 on planning must act judicially.

• In accordance with Section 34(7) of the Planning and Development Act 200, it shall be necessary, for the passing of the resolution, that the number of members voting in favour of the resolution is not less than three-quarters of the total number of members of the authority, or where the number so obtained is not a whole number, the whole number next below the number so obtained shall be sufficient. In this instance that number is 18.

Councillor S Doyle proposed the Section 140 motion and this was seconded by Councillor O’Donnell.

Councillor S Doyle sought clarification on the point that personal circumstances of the applicant cannot be considered and indicated that this was a very relevant point in the matter and she would be including medical grounds when making her case. The Mayor advised that it was important to adhere to the procedures outlined. Councillor S Doyle indicated that personal circumstances could be considered under the development plan policy.

Mr Kenny, Senior Planner, referred to the report of the Senior Executive Officer, Planning and Economic Development dated 24 March 2011, which had been circulated, and outlined the salient points contained therein:-

 

TO THE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL

Re: Section 140 (8) (b) Local Government Act 2001 – Section 34 (7) (a) (i) Planning & Development Act 2001 – Planning Register Reference No. 11/137 –Shane & Moira Barry.

Permission is sought for development which consists of the raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material only, to a depth of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35 hectares, vehicle entrance and all associated site works and temporary site works including a site office, 3 No. parking spaces and a wheel wash for the duration of the works.

I refer to the above-mentioned planning application. This application is being recommended for refusal for the following reasons:

 

1. The subject site is situated on agricultural lands and within the ‘Southern Lowland’s’ area as defined in Chapter 18 of the County Development Plan 2005-2011. It is the policy of the Planning Authority, as set out in the County Development Plan 2005-2011, to preserve the character of rural areas and to prevent the degradation of the rural landscape resource. Having regard to the critical landscape factors of such rural lowland areas, the character of the rural area in question and the pattern of development and the existing development pressure in the area, it is considered that the proposed development would be seriously injurious to and contribute towards the erosion of the existing character and visual amenities of the area, the existing residential amenities of the area and to the value of property in the vicinity of the subject site. The development would, conflict with current County Development Plan policy on the preservation and protection of the amenities of the area, would represent an undesirable precedent for further such development and would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area.

 

2. Having regard to the pattern of development in this rural area and the development pressure arising from same, it is considered that the capacity of the area to absorb further development of this type has been exhausted. The proposed development would, constitute and further exacerbate haphazard and piecemeal development in this rural area, would set a precedent for further such development and would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

 

3. In the absence of adequate and satisfactory information, it is considered that the development will interfere with the natural drainage systems in the area and will also impact on local ecosystems. Furthermore, it has not been clearly demonstrated that the development will not cause flooding on adjoining properties, or properties in the immediate vicinity. It is therefore considered that the development will increase the risk of flooding in the immediate area, will seriously injure the amenities and depreciate the value of property in the vicinity, and would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

 

Planning History.

11/73: Shane & Moira Barry – permission for a development which consists of the raising of the land using top soil, subsoil and inert material only to a depth of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35 hectares, vehicle entrance and all associated and all associated site works and temporary site works including a site office, 3 no. parking spaces and a wheel wash for the duration of the works incomplete application.

10/1059: Shane & Moira Barry – permission for raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material only to a depth of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35 hectares, vehicle entrance and all associated site works - incomplete application.

10/632: Shane & Moira Barry – permission refused for raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material only to a depth of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35 hectares, vehicle entrance and all associated site works. Decision not appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

09/696: Application by current applicants for raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material, to a dept of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35ha, vehicle entrance and all associated site works – permission refused. Decision not appealed to An Bord Pleanala

09/602: Application by current applicants for raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material, to a dept of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35ha, vehicle entrance and all associated site works - incomplete application.

08/1265: Permission refused to the current applicants for raising of land using top soil, subsoil and inert material, to a dept of approximately 1 metre over an area of approximately 0.35ha, vehicle entrance and all associated site works (refusal reasons centred on existing development pressure in the rural area, proliferation of one-off type dwellings, erosion of rural character and localised disamenity). Decision not appealed to An Bord Pleanala

07/3002: Permission refused by the current applicants for construction of a dormer dwelling (non-compliance with local need, development pressure and ribbon development in the area, high water table etc.). Decision not appealed to An Bord Pleanala

06/2525: The applicant’s sought permission for a dormer bungalow, detached garage, Bord Na Mona Puraflo effluent treatment system, percolation area and all associated site works at Maddenstown South. The application was refused. Decision not appealed to An Bord Pleanala

 

Current Application Assessment.

The site is situated c.4km to the northeast of the village of Nurney and off a local road in the townland of Maddenstown South. The site is located within a relatively open landscape. Hedgerows on the site are limited to the roadside (east) boundary. The site is positioned between an existing single storey dwelling, and a dormer/two storey type dwelling. The level of the site is lower than that of the adjoining road. This rural area has experienced a significant development pressure in the recent past by way of one-off dwelling type developments

 

Permission is sought for the raising of a site of c.0.35ha to approximately 1m using topsoil and inert subsoil. Accompanying correspondence with this application sets out the details with respect to the proposed land filling on the site i.e.

- nature and volume of materials to be used – 4000 m3 ,

- haul route,

- traffic movements,

- time frame for development – 3 months,

- impact on existing drainage – the Water Services Section have recommended that further information be requested in relation to this issue,

- hours of operation – Weekdays 8am to 5pm, Saturdays 9am to 2pm,

- mitigation measures, and,

- proposal to strengthen public road – no fixed proposals were submitted in regard to road strengthening, although applicant will accept all liabilities of damage to the public road.

It is applicant’s intention that the site is to be raised to facilitate an application for a one-off type dwelling at a later date. As referred to in the planning history, a recent application by the current applicants for a similar proposal to this was refused under Planning File Reference No. 2008/1265 and again under Planning File Reference No. 2009/0696 & Planning Reference No. 2010/0632. The said application (2008/0696) was to facilitate the construction of a dwelling house, an application for which was submitted under Planning File Reference No. 2007/3002. Again as per the planning history above, permission was subsequently refused to the current applicants for a dwelling under pl. ref. 2007/3002. Refusal reasons for both pl. ref. 2008/1265 and 2007/3002 centred on the following issues summarised below:

Excessive amount of development of this type in the area, give rise to undesirable precedent

Traffic implications, injurious to existing character of the area and existing residential amenities and value of property in the vicinity

Low lying site and related erosion of rural character, injure visual amenities in the area, therefore conflict with provisions of CDP 2005-2011

Ribbon development

Site unsuitable for provision of wastewater treatment system

Give rise to and constitute haphazard piecemeal type development

Having assessed the particulars of this application, it is deemed on planning grounds it does not differ substantially from that which was submitted and refused permission under 2008/1265, 2009/0696 & 2010/0632. To this end, it is considered that given there is no significant additional information submitted with this proposal, nor any change in the specifics of the proposal, there is no reason why it should now receive a favourable decision.

The rural area in question and especially lands adjoining public roads in the vicinity of ‘Loughy’s Cross Roads’ , have experienced sustained development pressure in the recent past by way of one-off dwelling type developments.

The CDP 2005-2011 sets out clear provisions with respect to preserving the County’s rural character and preventing the degradation of the rural landscape resource. Maddenstown South lies within the ‘Southern Lowlands’ area as defined in Map ref. 18.1 of Ch 18 of the CDP. The southern lowlands is characterised as comprising generally flat topography and low-lying vegetation, which allows for extensive visibility, but proves unable to visually absorb new development. Such critical landscape factors in lowland rural areas means that development can have a disproportionate visual impact. Furthermore, it is noted that limited information has been submitted in relation to the impact of the development on existing drainage patterns and local ecosystems. It appears from the site layout plan submitted that it is intended to pipe existing drains. No information has been given in relation to the drains, and no assessment of the drains has been carried out. This is reflected in the report from Water Services which has recommended further information.

As noted in the above, the area of Maddenstown South has already experienced significant development pressure The pertinent matter in the consideration of this application is that it would effectively facilitate the construction of a one-off dwelling. It is therefore deemed, with the aforesaid landscape character issues in mind, that the proposed development would result in an unacceptable over-development of this rural area, and act as a precedent for further such development. Therefore, to grant permission for the proposed development would be contrary to the provisions of the CDP 2005-2011.


Recommendation

Accordingly, having regard to the overall assessment, it is recommended that permission be refused for the three reasons set out on page 1 of this report.

 

Attached find copy of the following:-

Application Form

Location Map

 

The Planning file is available to view in the Planning Section and on-line, and will also be available to view at the Council meeting.

 

[End of Report]

 

Councillor Doyle thanked the Planning Department for the report. She indicated that submitting the Section 140 motion was not a practise she would engage in on a regular basis, but she considered that a rebalance of the county was necessary for urban and rural development. She felt that, under the current system, there was injustice against development in rural areas. Councillor Doyle indicated that there was no issue with the eligibility of the applicant, that there were extreme medical grounds in this case as one of the applicants had Parkinsons disease. The applicant wished to build a house with her son on a site beside her other son and that would allow them to share the care of their mother. Councillor Doyle referred to the three points recommending refusal in the planning report; she did not feel that the proposed development would interfere with the rural character of the area as defined in Chapter 18, she did not feel that the proposed development was haphazard in any way and that since 2001 they were more likely to get planning permission on this site as opposed to any other site, in fact five other developments had received permission in this area in recent years. She described the site as infill and could demonstrate site drainage was not a problem. The proposed site was close to her own family home and there was no evidence of flooding in this area for more than 30 years. The applicants had planted over 500 trees on the site, which, as well as landscaping, would also mitigate against flooding if required. She outlined that, should this permission be granted, the next stage would require that a percolation test be carried out and that would tell if the site had a risk of flooding or not. If the site was deemed unsuitable the application would not go any further. Councillor Doyle indicated that the applicants had held many meetings with the planners and made great efforts to impress their eligibility for planning permission. She felt that the recommended reasons for refusal were not strong enough and that ribbon development was not sufficient grounds for refusal. She considered that, having submitted eight applications on this site, the applicants had shown a level of persistence and that they complied under RH6 of the County Development Plan due to their family connections with the area. Councillor Doyle indicated that she did not submit this Section 140 motion lightly and that she could have chosen many other cases over the years, but felt this particular case had real need and there was merit in the application and that, as a public representative, it was important to support the most vulnerable in society. Councillor Doyle felt that the three reasons for refusal were not acceptable and that the legitimate need of the applicants could not be met anywhere else and asked her fellow councillors to accept this case, to think about similar cases in their own areas and to show solidarity.

Councillor O’Donnell indicated his support for the Section 140 motion and his agreement with most of the points raised by Councillor S Doyle. He said that he would never go against technical advice, but that the policy of the council needed a voice. He indicated that further technical reports may indicate that the site may not be capable of taking a development of a house, but that this motion would allow the planning process to continue and the application to proceed. He indicated that family circumstances should be considered, but the passing of this motion would not set a further precedent for other applications and this type of motion should only be used in limited circumstances.

Councillor McGinley indicated that the Labour Party were opposed to the Section 140 motion and this type of motion had not been used before in his 18 years as a member of Kildare County Council. He felt it was not good planning, it was not good to do the technical work of the council and that these motions were not used as regularly now in other counties as they would have been in the past.

Councillor Miley indicated his support for the motion. He referred to neighbouring counties that used this type of motion on a regular basis. He felt that this was a legitimate case and that bringing it before the public in the council chamber for all to look at was open and transparent. He was concerned that the planning report referred to a precedent being set and referred to five other applications granted in the vicinity of the proposed site. He felt this was an infill site which lends itself to this type of development and referred to RH6 of the County Development Plan. He felt that due to the medical condition of the applicant, it was better to have full family support to care for people at home than rely on nursing home care. He felt there was strong community support in this area and referred to local GAA playing a role in rural areas. Councillor Miley had no recollection of flooding in this area. He felt that the reasons for refusal were a contradiction of the present County Development Plan 2005 – 2011.

Councillor McEvoy, on behalf of the independent members, opposed the motion. He felt it was important to look at when this type of motion was used in other counties and that there was a lot of legislation in place to support the planning process. He noted that An Bord Pleanala had not had the opportunity to review the application. Councillor Griffin indicated that never in the history of the council had a Section 140 motion been used. He wondered why the five applications on this site that had been refused had not been appealed to An Bord Pleanala. He felt this motion would create a precedent and knew of other families who were also under pressure for medical reasons looking for planning permission, but this was not the way to go and indicated that he would not be voting in favour of the motion.

Councillor S Doyle agreed that members were not planning experts but were experts in policies that they had made. She felt there was justification in the motion before the council and that it was a tool that had a purpose that should be used as there appeared to be a breakdown in communication with the Planning Department.

The Section 140 motion, which was proposed by Councillor S Doyle and seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, was put to a vote and following a role call was not passed by a margin of 11 against, 8 in favour, 3 abstaining and 3 not present viz::-

Against: Councillors Brett, Browne, Byrne, Kennedy, Larkin, McEvoy, McGinley, Purcell, Scully, Wall and Weld.

For: Councillors Callaghan, L Doyle, S Doyle, Langan, Miley, O’Donnell, O’Loughlin and O’Rourke.

Abstaining: Councillors Daly, Griffin and Keatley.

Not present: Councillors MacNamara, Moore and Nolan.


2/0311

Confirmation of Minutes

The council considered the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 28 February 2011 and special meeting held on 14 March 2011, together with the progress report.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, that the minutes of the monthly meeting held on 28 February 2011 and special meeting held on 14 March 2011 be confirmed and taken as read.

 

 

3/0311

Committee Minutes

The Council considered the committee minutes which had been circulated with the agenda.

Athy Area – 28 January 2011

Celbridge Area – 21 January 2011

Kildare Area – 16 February 2011

Naas Area – 15 February 2011

Clane Area – 8 February 2011.

 

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Kennedy, seconded by Councillor Miley, that the minutes be noted.


4/0311

Material Contravention of the Kildare County Development Plan 2005–2011 and Newbridge Local Area Plan 2003

The council noted that a planning application from County Kildare VEC and Dr Maurice Cox (register no 10/1115) would, if successful, result in a material contravention of the Kildare County Development Plan 2005–2011 and the Newbridge Local Area Plan 2003

The proposed development, if permitted, will consist of the use of 189.78 sq m of proposed health care/education facility (previously granted permission under register reference 09/1409) as retail/pharmacy at St Conleth’s VEC School, Station Road, Newbridge, Co Kildare. The proposed development would contravene materially the objectives of the Kildare County Development Plan 2005-2011 and, in particular, the objectives of the Newbridge Local Area Plan 2003; in which plan the subject site is zoned Objective E: To Provide for Community and Educational Facilities. The specific zoning objective, Section 3.2.5, of the site states: “This zoning objective provides for local civic, religious, community and educational facilities including health care, childcare, fire station, courthouse, schools, churches, meeting halls and other community facilities”.

The council also considered a report dated 23 March 2011 from the Senior Planner and Director of Services for Planning and Economic Development, which had been circulated to the members. Mr Kenny outlined the salient points contained in the report.

Councillor Callaghan sought clarification on the fact that nine members of council were also members of county Kildare VEC and if this would be a conflict of interest. Mr Lahart addressed the members concerns and advised that provided they had no personal interest in the development, no conflict would arise. Mr Lahart confirmed that the development proposed was recommended for a material contravention of the County Development Plan 2005-2011 and the Newbridge Local Area Plan 2003 in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Kennedy, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, with all 22 members present voting in favour, that a decision to grant planning permission be made in this case and that for that purpose the council consent to a material contravention of the Kildare County Development Plan 2005-2011 and the Newbridge Local Area Plan 2003.

 

5/0311

Votes of Sympathy

The Mayor and members expressed sympathy with the following:

Councillor Seamie Moore, on the death of his sister.

Tommy Skehan, former Director of Services, on the death of his father and Fiona Skehan, Water Services on the death of her grandfather.

Olive Kavanagh, Human Resources, on the death of her father-in-law.

Mary Fitzpatrick, Kildare County Enterprise Board on the death of her sister.

 

 

6/0311

Grant of Easement

Kildare Town Pumping Station, Tully, Kildare

The council considered statutory notice dated 11 March 2011 which had been circulated to members pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001 signifying intent to the granting of easement of 130m x 1m of Kildare Town Pumping Station, Tully, Kildare to Electricity Supply Board in consideration of payment of €1.00.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor S Doyle, seconded by Councillor T O’Donnell, that pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 2001 that the council consent to the granting of easement of the land in accordance with the terms set out in the statutory notice.

 


7/0311

Filling of committee vacancies

The Council noted that vacancies had arisen in the membership of committees and external bodies as a result of the cessation of former Councillors Anthony Lawlor, Catherine Murphy and Martin Heydon’s membership of the Council:

• Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee

• Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee

• Protocol Committee

• Finance Committee

• County Joint Policing Committee

• Twinning Committee

• Local Rural Water Monitoring Committee

• Kildare Community Network Company

• Traffic Technical Committee

• Nominee to witness affixing of the Council’s seal

• Arthurstown Landfill Facility Community Liaison Committee

• Leixlip Amenities Centre

• Athy Investment, Development and Employment Forum

• Vocational Education Committee

• Burrin Joint Drainage Committee

• Mid East Regional Authority

• Association of County and City Councils

• Kildare County Enterprise Board

• Board of Meath Foundation

• Dublin Mid-Leinster Regional Health Forum


Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, that Councillor Keatley be appointed to the Protocol Committee, Vocational Education Committee, Community and Culture Strategic Policy Committee, Local Rural Water Monitoring Committee, Finance Committee, Burrin Joint Drainage Board, Athy Investment, Development and Employment Forum, County Joint Policing Committee, Dublin Mid-Leinster Regional Health Forum, Traffic Technical Committee and nominee to witness affixing of the Council’s seal.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, that Councillor Brett be appointed to the Twinning Committee, Association of County and City Councils, Kildare County Enterprise Board, Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee, County Joint Policing Committee, Arthurstown Landfill Facility Community Liaison Committee, Traffic Technical Committee and nominee to witness affixing of the Council’s seal.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Griffin, seconded by Councillor O’Donnell, that Councillor Weld be appointed to the Mid-East Regional Authority and Board of Meath Foundation.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Kennedy, that Councillor Larkin be appointed to the Kildare Community Network Company, Leixlip Amenities Centre, Traffic Technical Committee and nominee to the affixing of the Council’s seal.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Larkin, that Councillor Kennedy be appointed to the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee.

 


8/0311

To appoint Chair of the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Larkin, that Councillor Kennedy be appointed Chair of the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee.

Councillor O’Rourke complimented recent presentation from Water Services at the Water and Environmental Services Strategic Policy Committee and requested that same be presented to full council.

 

 

9/0311

Audit Report

 

The administrator referred to the Audit Committee Annual Report 2010 that had been circulated to the members for consideration.

Resolved that the Audit Committee Annual Report 2010 be noted.

 


10/0311

Corporate Plan 2009–2014

 

Mr O’Sullivan referred to the progress report on the Corporate Plan 2009–2014 that had been circulated to the members for consideration. He outlined that this report had been prepared at a high level and aimed to give an overview of achievements in the first year of the corporate plan.

Resolved that the report be noted.



11/0311

Taking in Charge of Housing Estates

The administrator referred to report dated 21 March 2011 that had been circulated to the members, regarding the taking in charge of estates in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 of the Roads Act 1993 namely; Kildoon Woods, Nurney, Greenmount Park, Newbridge, Esker Lea, Kilcullen, Laurel Wood, Kilcullen and in accordance with the provisions of Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 in respect of Simmonstown Park, Celbridge.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Byrne, seconded by Councillor Wall, that Simmonstown Park, Celbridge, Kildoon Woods, Nurney, Greenmount Park, Newbridge, Esker Lea, Kilcullen and Laurel Wood, Kilcullen, be taken in charge by Kildare County Council in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 of the Roads Act 1993 and Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

 

 

12/0311

2011 Purchase Scheme for Long-Standing Tenants

 

Mr Minnock referred to report that had been circulated to the members in relation to the 2011 Purchase Scheme for Long-Standing Tenants. The sale of houses under Section 90 of the Housing Act 1966, and in compliance with the Housing (Sale of Houses to Long-Standing Tenants) Regulations 2011, is a reserved function and requires the adoption of the scheme by the council.

 

The members welcomed the scheme which would give long standing tenants the opportunity to purchase their home, subject to a maximum of 45 per cent discount of the market value, and requested that the Housing Department write to all tenants to inform them of the details of the scheme.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Wall, seconded by Councillor McEvoy, and agreed by all members present, that the 2011 Purchase Scheme for Long-Standing Tenants be adopted.

 

 

13/0311

Housing Report

 

Mr Minnock presented the housing report setting out the current position on housing matters. He confirmed that Kildare Local Authorities had just received notification of the allocation under the Social Housing Investment Programme for 2011 and members should note that this allocation included Athy and Naas Town Council’s. Mr Minnock advised the members on the new scheme of letting priorities which will go before the Housing Strategic Policy Committee and must be adopted by June 2011. He further advised that the Housing Needs Assessment is currently being carried out and that, from 1 April 2011, new regulations will come into effect requiring more robust examination of documentation.

 

The members raised a number of issues in relation to spending of the grant allocation and also regarding the new criteria for new housing applicants. Mr Minnock briefed the members on the Land Aggregation Scheme and advised that the land at Craddockstown , Naas had been accepted by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and that the land would be redeemed in April and the ownership would transfer from Respond to the Housing and Sustainable Communities Ltd. Mr Minnock replied to the questions raised and confirmed that he would prepare a report for circulation to the members on the schemes currently operated by the Housing Department.

 

 

14/0311

Road Safety

Declan Keogh, Road Safety Officer, made a presentation to the members on the road safety programme ‘Working Together for a Safer Journey’. He outlined details of the current schedule of school visits, details of the inter-agency summer safety roadshow and the SMASH – ‘A split second can last forever’ initiative based on a series of radio interviews in conjunction with Kfm. The members thanked Mr Keogh for his presentation and complimented him on his ongoing work in the area of road safety.

 

 

15/0311

Mayor’s Business

 

The Mayor congratulated Maynooth Post Primary School for winning the recent All-Ireland Gaelic Football Championship and also Clane Community School for reaching the All-Ireland Community Schools Championship.

The Mayor referred to his recent trip to New York and confirmed that he would give a full report to the Corporate Policy Group at a later date. The members acknowledged the initiatives the Mayor had brought back with him and agreed that they should endorse the great work undertaken by Mr Chris Burke on behalf of the Kildare Association.

 

 

16/0311

County Manager’s Business

 

The County Manager referred to the severe weather of last December/January and to internal and inter-agency de-briefings that had recently taken place. Mr O’Leary confirmed that a number of actions were identified which if addressed would assist the council and other agencies in dealing with future similar incidents, including communications, staff availability, water tankers/supply and community resilience. Mr O’Leary confirmed that a severe weather report update would be circulated to the members.

 

As he had not been present at the February council meeting, the Manager took the opportunity to congratulate Councillors Keatley, Brett and Larkin on their co-option to the council and wished them well.

 

 

17/0311

Conferences

 

15 - 17 April 2011

The Future of Local Politics

Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co Cork

Approximate cost per delegate: €800

 

15 - 17 April 2011

The Good Friday Agreement Local Government North and South

The Kingsvalley Hotel, Merlin Park, Galway

Approximate cost per delegate: €750

 

29 April -1 May 2011

Programme for Government and Local Government

City North Hotel, Gormanstown, Co Meath

Approximate cost per delegate: €500

 

 

18/0311

Draft Special Speed Limit Bye-Law

 

The council considered recommendation from the Clane Area Committee:

To consider Draft Special Speed Limit Bye-Law – M4 Service Station at Martinstown and Kilmorebrannagh, Enfield, Co. Kildare under Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (No. 44 of 2004).

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Langan, seconded by Councillor McEvoy, with all members agreed, that the Special Speed Limit Bye-Law – M4 Service Station at Martinstown and Kilmorebrannagh, Enfield, Co Kildare under Section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 (No. 44 of 2004) be adopted.

Councillor L Doyle referred to works due to be undertaken shortly at Portgloriam resulting in road closure for a substantial period of time. He requested that the Transportation Department notify all local residents and update the website with alternative routes identified as soon as possible in order to alleviate hardship to people using the road.

 

 

19/0311

Pay Parking

The council considered the following adjourned motion in the name of Councillor S Doyle:

That the council be advised in relation to pay parking in the county, as follows;

- Breakdown of revenue for each town for 2009 and 2010

- Breakdown of operating costs for each town in 2009 and 2010

- Breakdown of projects supported by revenue from paid parking in 2009 and 2010

- Breakdown of number of tickets issued in each town and collection/resolution of same with details of how many were paid at what point and for how much ultimately

- Breakdown of court costs for pursuit of tickets, number of court cases taken, number settled prior to court hearing and number of cases lost on petition of ticket recipient.

The Mayor confirmed that a report on pay parking had been circulated to all members following the last meeting. Councillor Doyle acknowledged the lengthy report and queried the amount of fines issued during 2010 for non-display of current tax disc. She noted the financial pressures people were under at present and asked if some leniency be exercised before issuing fines where tax is out of date for less than two months.

The Mayor advised the members that this proposal was not legal and could not be implemented. Mr O’Leary advised the members that he would prepare a survey of the fines issued for non-display of tax to ascertain the period of time the car tax was out of date and would circulate a report on the survey to the members.

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

20/0311

Erection of Signage by NRA

 

The council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor S Doyle:

That the council seek to have exit signs on the North Bound M7 at exit 14 changed to include Monasterevin. That the council members be consulted on all future signage erected by NRA within the county.

Mr O’Leary confirmed that representatives of the NRA had been invited to the next meeting of the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee and that this issue would be raised. Councillor S Doyle requested that any new signage be agreed by the members of the relevant area committee before being erected.


Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

21/0311

European Territorial Co-operation Programmes

 

The Council considered the following motion in the name of Councillor McGinley:

That this council ensures that we avail of the funding available under the European Territorial Co-operation Programmes.

Councillor McGinley indicated to the meeting that, as a member of the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly, it had come to his attention that not all the funding under the European Territorial Co-operation Programmes had been drawn down. He stressed the importance of making best use of these resources. Councillor McGinley indicated that he would make contact details and relevant information available to the meetings administrator.

 

22/0311

Development Bonds

 

The Council considered the following motion in the name of Councillors McEvoy, Kennedy, Moore and Larkin:

That Kildare County Council report with details of the locations and status of developments where bonds have lapsed and where the developers are known to be in examinership, receivership or liquidation. That such a report should underpin appropriate resourcing to enable the Council to proactively engage with stakeholders, with a primary consideration for the owner/occupiers of residences, to identify ways to complete the developments in a meaningful timeframe.

Councillor McEvoy referred to the substantial number of unfinished developments in the county that, due to the economic downturn, insurance bonds had lasped and were not being re-instated. He indicated that the council should highlight a period of time in advance of the bond expiring and get agreement from the developer to ensure that wearing courses and treatment plants are put in place as a matter of priority.

Mr Hannigan advised the members that a review of all the private residential estates in the county was being undertaken and this assessment will provide a basis for forming a strategy for dealing with finished, unfinished and abandoned estates. He further advised that the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government had published a draft guidance manual on this issue and that Kildare County Council had made a submission to the Department and a briefing on this submission will be given to the Planning and Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee at their next meeting.

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

 

23/0311

Register of Electors

 

The council considered the following motion in the names of Councillors McEvoy, Kennedy, Moore and Larkin:

That Kildare County Council report on the procedures for updating the electoral register and on the number of people that were de-listed since the previous electoral register. In order to further minimise the erroneous de-registration of valid voters, that a draft deletion list be prepared for public comment/consultation for a period of one month prior to adoption of the register.

The administrator referred to a report on this motion which had been circulated to the members. Some members expressed concern regarding mistakes that had come to light during the recent general election, where long term residents in some parts of the county had been deleted off the register for no apparent reason and this was a serious matter that needed to be addressed. Councillor McGinley indicated that a central register, based on PPS numbers, as established in the North of Ireland, was the only way to overcome such mistakes being made.

The administrator referred the members to www.checktheregister.ie , a national website that allows people to check if they are on the register, but advised that the information must be inputted exactly as it appears on the register in order get a match. She also confirmed that Kildare County Council did not issue the polling cards for the recent election and that any errors brought to the council’s attention on polling day were rectified where possible on the day. The administrator advised that field work had been undertaken last year and further areas would be targeted this summer. The members were reminded that the onus is on each individual person to ensure they are correctly listed on the register of electors.

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

____

 

The meeting concluded.