Concerns have been raised about a proposed road design in the Dunningstown Road area of Kilkenny.
The plans were shown to members of Kilkenny County Council at their January meeting prior to them being put on public display.
Director of Services with Kilkenny County Council, Tim Butler said that the local authority ‘gave notice of their intention’ to make a Part 8 planning application most likely at the end of February. The new CBS school is expected to be built at a site close to the Dunningstown Road and both projects are expected to go for planning at the same time.
Councillor David Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) said that while ‘everyone is supportive of the CBS school going into the site’ there were concerns about the proposed road design.
“The road design effectively severs rural Dunningstown Road and diverts people back onto the Freshford Road. The end of the city side of the road will be a cul de sac.
“I have been inundated with phone calls from people unhappy with the proposal. They feel that their access to the city has been severed.
“Why do residents on the rural side of the Dunningstown Road have to suffer over poor design? This is a cheap solution and we need to find more funding,” he said, adding there is also a need for proper footpaths and lighting in the area.”
Local resident Aidan Roche, who has lived on the Dunningstown Road for over 40 years, said that while he welcomes the new school he has ‘total anger’ over the proposed road design.
“I appreciate that road improvements have to be made but how dare they block a right of way that has been there for hundreds of years,” he said.
“The residents were not consulted and I am totally opposed to the proposed design. There are other options that can be looked at, such as a roundabout.”
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness said that he had been contacted by many residents ‘regarding a range of issues that will impact on them directly and many fear will have a hugely negative impact on their quality of life particularly when it comes to traffic and parking’.
“Kilkenny badly needs the development of a new school but we also have to take into consideration the impact such a development will have on the local area,” he said.
“It is very important that any plan is sensitive to local residents and vital that they are part of an extensive consultation process and that they are in agreement with any plan for their area.
“The Dunningstown Residents Association have made a number of observations and they have highlighted their concerns that I believe must be addressed and suggestions explored before any final decision is made. The future proposed link road is a key factor in the success of any traffic management plan for the area. Some residents have suggested a flyover be considered as an option too.
“Cutting residents from their route into the city is not something I’m supportive of,” he added.
“I’m calling on Kilkenny County Council to work with the residents here to find a positive solution that addresses all of their concerns and that doesn’t cut them off from the city.”
Cllr Maria Dollard (Green Party) said she believes a solution can be found.
“Speaking to residents one solution we have come up with is the use of a level crossing or electronically controlled bollards that would make the Granges Road a ‘cul de sac’ but only for the times it is necessary.”
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