Council seeking public’s opinion on services in the community

Another secondary school on the eastern side of the city, the location and format of future nursing homes, the need for more child-care services and recreational amenities – these are some of the matters that Kilkenny County Council is asking the public to consider in preparing its next County Development Plan this summer.

Another secondary school on the eastern side of the city, the location and format of future nursing homes, the need for more child-care services and recreational amenities – these are some of the matters that Kilkenny County Council is asking the public to consider in preparing its next County Development Plan this summer.

Public meetings are taking place in areas around the county from now until August, and a meeting on July 4 at 7.30pm in Callan’s Friary House will cover ideas for community and rural development.

On the question of nursing homes for example, “we get a lot of pre-planning applications about nursing homes in the middle of nowhere because the land is cheap and it is easy to build a massive structure there,” said Caitriona Reilly, executive planner with Kilkenny County Council.

But do all nursing home residents want to live in such a setting, or “do you want a choice to be able to walk to church or the hair dresser or the post office?” she asked. “And maybe people have other ideas about different formats, not just nursing homes. Should we be looking at different models?”

On the matter of schools, she said the council was considering the need for another secondary school in the eastern environs of the city – in the area of Johnswell, Lintown, Newpark, Ashfield and Hebron – where most of the students travel to the other side of the city because all except one secondary school are located on the western side.

The council is also seeking the public’s views on whether there are enough health facilities, playgrounds and other services in the right places.

In many cases it will be a matter of prioritising, Ms Reilly said. In the city, for example, should there be a new pedestrian bridge to enhance the existing trails for tourism and recreation, or is it preferable to have a new link in the city centre?

Although the council doesn’t have full control over where all services are provided, it can pave the way for services such as child-care facilities through its zoning of land, she said.

For more on contributing to the Development Plan, see ourplan.kilkenny.ie.