County Hall on John Street
Local councillors have approved draft area plans for Callan and Thomastown, but some have lamented restrictions around the zoning of land, which they say will curtail the provision of housing going forward.
The draft local area plans were on public display in recent months, and 16 submissions were made to the Callan plan, and 19 made to the Thomastown one.
Cllr Patrick McKee expressed concern over the rezoning of land at Bolton Woods in Callan from ‘New Residential’ to ‘Low Density Residential, reducing the potential number of houses that can be delivered there.
“As public representatives, we’re crying out for more houses,” he said.
Cllr David Kennedy said he supported Cllr McKee’s comments.
Cllr Matt Doran said he had urged and wished for an area of Low Density. He said there were ‘a number of young couples in Callan who want to decide on their own house and style, and not be dictated to’.
Cllr Kennedy also said he had reservations around the zoning in Thomastown, which he said limited the council to one side of the town.
“If we keep building at the Kilkenny side of town, the whole other side is neglected,” he said.
Cllr Breda Gardner said she shared some of Cllr Kennedy’s concerns.
“We really have to be careful to make sure the town is kept alive and not shoved up the Dublin Road,” she said.
Cllr Patrick O’ Neill expressed frustrations with limitations imposed by the National Planning Framework .
“We are limited now by what we can do,” he said.
“Towns within 15 minutes of the city are ideal for people to set up, and we are really letting people down. There’s way more potential for our towns. I want to express my disappointment with the whole way this is going to play out.”
Cllr Michael Doyle agreed.
“It’s nothing to do with the council — it’s a National Planning Framework issue,” he said.
The plans are now to be published in a further period of public consultation.