Councillors object to social housing scheme

Three local councillors have objected to the building of 21 units of social housing by the Cluid housing estate on the Castlecomer road.

Three local councillors have objected to the building of 21 units of social housing by the Cluid housing estate on the Castlecomer road.

Cluid had applied for planning permission to build 20, two bedroom apartments and a single one bed apartment on a site in Dunmore. Cluid have since withdrawn the planning application after they received 28 letters objecting to their plans including three letters from local councils.

A previous planning permission had been granted on the same site in 2006 for the construction of 24, two-bedroom apartments. This permission had been granted to a John Moore, but had expired before Cluid could develop the site.

Councillors Malcolm Noonan, John Coonan and Betty Manning all wrote letters to the council’s planning office in objection. They stated that the development was not in accordance with planning guidelines as it was not a mixed development and represented to high a density of dwelling on a single site.

Cllr Betty Manning (Fine Gael) said in her letter to the planning authority “This is not a mixed development, is not within easy reach of the centre or shopping facilities and would prove to be isolating for future residents.”

Cllr John Coonan (Fianna Fail) said: “The plan to build 21 living units on 0.82 of an acre is of such high density and is in such confined space with negligible active open space available, will in itself in my view give rise to a very challenging environmental and social problems.”

Cllr Coonan also pointed out that the plan to build so many social on such a confined site “does not represent the quality social housing needed in a modern society or indeed proper social integration.”

Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Green Party) pointed out that the planning application was in breach of Kilkenny City and Environs Development Plan. Cllr Noonan said that the proposed development was equal to a density of 63 units per hectare while the development plans called for a density of 20 units per hectare.

Cllr Noonan also highlighted that the development would go against many of the new guidelines as set out in the Government’s revised Housing Policy. The policy emphasises the use of existing housing stocks. Cllr Noonan also said in his letter to planners that Kilkenny County Council had recently acquired a significant number of apartments and houses in the Glenbawn and Weir estates. Cllr Noonan pointed out that these units which are located beside the proposed development remain vacant.

The Cluid housing association with drew their planning application on January 30, after receiving the letters of objection.