Variation is a measure to facilitate an application/applications under Part 8 for temporary or meanwhile parking
The possibility of a temporary carpark on Kilkenny’s former brewery site has moved a step closer, following a majority decision by local councillors to vary the Kilkenny City and Envrions Development Plan on Monday.
While no definitive plan is in place nor has one been put forward, the variation now facilitates an application under Part 8 for temporary parking within the Abbey Quarter. This was previously not the case under the original site masterplan.
The proposed variation was the subject of a four-week public consultation period, which ended at the beginning of this month. A total of ten submissions were received.
Some of these expressed support — such as that from Heidi Good, of WH Good Ltd. Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce’s submission called for a phased provision of car parking in the city, while a submission from St Canice’s Cathedral spoke of the need for coach parking.
Meanwhile, submissions from An Taisce and Kilkenny Archaeological Society expressed a number of concerns, including over traffic. Another submission, from Colin Ahern (Ormonde Street Carpark), said that the existing 4,000 spaces in the city are operating well below capacity.
Outlining the chief executive’s response to submissions, senior planner Denis Malone said that some people appeared to be getting mixed up with the parking report that had been discussed at the same meeting the variation was proposed. That report, based on a study commissioned by Kilkenny County Council, assessed parking options in the city and made recommendations for two temporary carparks on the brewery site.
“This is nothing to do with that,”said Mr Malone.
He added that if any proposal in relation to parking came forward, it would come back to the members and for Part 8. He said this was about making a ‘provision’.
In her response to submissions, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council Colette Byrne recommended no change to the variation, and recommended its adoption.
“The proposed variation is a measure to facilitate an application/applications under Part 8 for temporary or meanwhile parking within the Abbey Quarter and does not form part of the long term vision for the site,” she notes.
The item was proposed by Cllr Matt Doran. It was seconded by Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, who said he was ‘delighted to see it coming forward’.
“I think it’s important that we try and get the parking sorted,” he said.
Cllr David Kennedy sought clarity that the facility proposed was ‘temporary’. Cllr Malcolm Noonan said he wouldn’t be supporting the proposal as put forward. He said there was still a lot of work to be done in relation to the mobility plan.
The Green Party councillor also listed a number of city carparks which he said are currently under-utilised.
“I would have significant concerns around this proposal,” he said, adding that the council ‘should be moving forward with the mobility plan and moving forward with the pedestrianisation of High Street.’
Director of services Tim Butler said the council would soon begin a review of the mobility management plan.
The variation as proposed was supported by all members present except Cllr Noonan, and thus was agreed.