City 5. Housing and Community

5         Housing and Community

Strategic Aim: To integrate the planning and sustainable development of the city with regard to the housing, social, community and cultural requirements of the city and its population. 

Building strong, inclusive communities is a key element in achieving sustainable development objectives.  Sustainable communities require not only economic development, but also provision of and access to education, health and community support services, amenities and leisure services and a good quality built environment.

The Council’s role is to formulate a planning policy for housing, consider planning applications for private housing, ensure that sufficient lands are zoned to meet the projected housing demand and provide houses or facilitate the provision of social and affordable housing for those unable to house themselves. The Councils are both the housing authority and the planning authority. In these roles they have the capacity to influence the supply, location and scale of new housing within its functional area.

The Councils’ core objective in relation to the provision of housing is to ensure that every household has accommodation suitable to their needs, located in a suitable environment, at a price or rent it can afford.

5.1       Housing strategy

Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 requires that housing strategies be drawn up by planning authorities and integrated into their development plans. 

The housing strategy shall:

a)      include an estimate of, and provision for, the existing need and the likely future need for housing in the area covered by the development plan. The Planning Authority shall ensure that sufficient and suitable land is zoned in its development plan for residential use (or for a mixture of residential and other uses), to meet the requirements of the housing strategy and to ensure that a scarcity of such land does not occur at any time during the period of the development plan.

b)      take into account the need to ensure that housing is available for persons who have different levels of income, and in particular for those in need of social or affordable housing in the area.  A housing strategy shall therefore provide that as a general policy a specified percentage, not being more than 20% of the land zoned in the development plan for residential use, or for a mixture of residential and other uses, shall be reserved for social and/or affordable housing.

c)       ensure that a mixture of house types and sizes is developed to reasonably match the requirements of the different categories of households, as may be determined by the Planning Authority, including the special requirements of elderly persons and persons with disabilities.

d)      counteract undue segregation in housing between persons of different social backgrounds. The Planning Authority may indicate in respect of any residential area that there is no requirement for social/affordable housing in respect of that area, or that a lower percentage than that specified in the housing strategy may instead be required.


The needs of various groups, including the homeless, travellers and the elderly are addressed as part of the Housing Strategy. 

A joint Housing Strategy has been prepared for the period 2014 - 2020 by both Kilkenny Borough and County Councils.  This Strategy is incorporated into the Development Plan in Appendix B.

The principal features to emerge from the analysis presented in this housing strategy are as follows:


  • A total of 4,353 new households are required to meet the population targets set for County Kilkenny in the Regional Planning Guidelines for the period 2008 to 2014.
  • The existing local authority waiting list is c.2,852
  • Over the period of the strategy 20% of land zoned for residential or a mix of residential and other land uses will be reserved for social and affordable housing.
  • The availability of zoned land is not expected to act as a constraint over the course of the Development Plan 2014 – 2020


It is the view of the Planning Department that the requirements of Part V of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 in relation to any particular site should be incorporated into any development proposal at an early stage in the development process.  The Councils will therefore require housing developers to whom the 20% requirement will apply to discuss the likely terms of Part V agreements at pre-planning consultations.  Both the Councils and the developer would thus have a common understanding of the nature of the likely agreement before detailed designs are prepared for any planning application.

Conditions attached to planning permissions for residential development will require developers to enter into an agreement with the Councils in relation to the provision of social and affordable housing in accordance with the housing strategy.

The Housing Strategy also identified that there will be a requirement for a greater mix of unit types due to an increase in the number of single persons requiring accommodation. 

The following preferred options are available to satisfy the requirements of the housing strategy:

  • The payment of a monetary contribution
  • The transfer of a portion of the site subject to the planning application,
  • The transfer of completed dwellings elsewhere,
  • The transfer of fully or partially serviced sites on the site which will enable the Council to provide the appropriate number of units thereon,
  • The transfer of serviced sites at another location,
  • The transfer of the required number of completed dwellings on the site,
  • The transfer of land at another location,

An agreement may provide for a combination of the above. 

The Council will continue to meet social and affordable housing needs in the towns, villages and rural areas of the county in a balanced way avoiding over-concentration in any one particular area.

The Council recognises the important role played by the voluntary sector in meeting social housing need and will support and facilitate the expansion of that role.

The Council will seek to meet the increased demand for social and affordable housing in a number of ways as a housing authority through,

-          the sale of sites scheme,

-          the Voluntary Housing Sector and the Rental subsidy scheme,

-          the capital assistance scheme,

-          the disabled persons grant,

-          the essential repairs grant and other measures, and

-          the Homeless Forum initiative.

-          Travellers Accommodation programme


5.1.1       Travellers

The Traveller Accommodation Programme (TAP) 2010-2013 which was adopted by Kilkenny Co. Council and Kilkenny Borough Council in January and February 2009 respectively outlines the key strategic areas for provision of Traveller accommodation.

A review of the programme has commenced in accordance with Section 17 (1) (a) of the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act, 1998.




·         To implement the Housing Strategy contained in Appendix B of the Development Plan.

·         To require 20% of the land zoned for residential use, or for a mixture of residential and other uses, be made available for the provision of social housing.

·         To require that a mixture of residential unit types and sizes are developed to reasonably match the requirements of different categories of households within the city and county.

·         Complete the review of the Traveller Accommodation programme.

·         To implement the Kilkenny Travellers Horse project

·         To redevelop the Wetlands halting site as a group housing scheme.

·         To implement the provisions of the Traveller Accommodation programme


5.1.2       Housing Protection Areas

A number of Housing Protection Areas in the central city area were identified in the last plan, within which any change of use from residential units would be strictly resisted.  To ensure a vibrant city centre, it is essential to maintain and facilitate an increase in its residential population.  Therefore these housing protection areas will be maintained, and are illustrated in Figure 5.1.  The Council will resist the change of use of residential units in the designated ‘Housing Protection Areas’. 


5.2       Residential Development

The provision of additional housing throughout the city offers an opportunity to deliver new development of the highest physical and environmental standards. With growth in housing numbers the Councils must ensure that quality in terms of neighbourhoods and homes, and choice in terms of location and the tenures available.

Quality in the context of urban developments means the development of a high quality built environment through the promotion of high quality urban design.  The Council will have regard to and apply the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and its companion document Urban Design Manual: A best practice guide[1], in assessing and dealing with housing developments. Please refer to section 11.3 for detailed residential design guidance. 


5.3       Universal Design

People of diverse abilities should be able to use buildings and places comfortably and safely, as far as possible without special assistance.  People should be able to find their way easily, understand how to use building facilities such as intercoms or lifts, and know where pedestrian facilities are, and know where they may encounter traffic.

Given the wide diversity of the population, a universal design approach, which caters for the broadest range of users from the outset, can result in buildings and places that can be used and enjoyed by everyone.  That approach eliminates or reduces the need for expensive changes or retrofits to meet the needs of particular groups at a later stage.

In all development proposals it will be the policy of the Council to promote Universal Design and Lifetime Housing in accordance with best practice and the policies and principles contained in Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach[2] and Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas and its companion document Urban Design Manual: A best practice guide.


5.4       Unfinished Estates

In 2011, Kilkenny local authorities set up a dedicated team to focus on the resolution of unfinished estates in their functional area.  The Councils have used a range of powers available under building control, dangerous Places/structures, planning and other relevant legislation in an integrated way and have worked proactively with developers, financial institutions/NAMA and local communities in securing the satisfactory resolution of unfinished housing developments.  The Councils will assess and monitor unfinished developments and will play a key role in the co-ordination of Site Resolution Plans with other key stakeholders.  The Councils will have regard to Managing and Resolving Unfinished Housing Developments - Guidance Manual[3], in particular sections 7.1 and 7.2 thereof.


5.5       Community Facilities

Community facilities are essential to the well-being and functioning of populated areas. These facilities include health clinics, hospitals, schools, churches, libraries, community halls and burial grounds.

The primary role of the Planning Authority is to reserve sufficient lands within the settlement centres to meet likely future demands for community infrastructure. A recurring problem with respect to the provision of this infrastructure is its timely provision in conjunction with new housing.  The Councils will reserve sites for community facilities as appropriate and seek to remedy deficiencies in existing developed areas.  The Councils will locate community facilities within existing settlements and where population levels warrant a particular service, and will liaise with community groups and to assist community initiatives subject to the availability of resources.

The preferred option for the Planning Authority is for new and existing buildings to facilitate and provide for a range of compatible community uses.  The Planning Authority will investigate opportunities for multi-purpose use to ensure that communities are best served without duplication of effort.  It is important that the greatest possible use of a building is made, thereby providing community and leisure facilities close to the areas where they are needed.  The Councils will ensure that, where practicable, community, recreational and open space facilities are clustered, with the community facilities being located in local centres or combined with school facilities as appropriate. Community facilities should be located close to or within walking distance of housing, accessible to all sectors of the community and facilitate multi-use functions through their design and layout.


5.6       Education & Childcare

5.6.1       Childcare Facilities

The provision of childcare and early education facilities is recognised as a strategic piece of social infrastructure required to enhance children’s early learning experiences and enable people to participate more fully in society, particularly in accessing employment, education and social networks.  National policy on childcare facilities is set out in Childcare Facilities Guidelines for Planning Authorities[4].  Government planning policy on childcare is to improve the quality of childcare services for the community.  The primary role of the Planning Authority is to facilitate childcare facilities in appropriate locations to high development standards. 


The Government’s ten year framework Towards 2016[5] aims to ensure that every family should be able to access childcare services which are appropriate to the circumstances and needs of their children.  The National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016[6] sets out a number of goals for early childhood development which includes the provision of income supports and an increase in the provision of childcare facilities by 100,000 by 2016. The National Strategic Plan 2011-2013 (Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes) also includes key objectives to develop childcare and early education services and to consolidate investment in the childcare sector. With the current economic situation it will be important to ensure that capital investment is targeted to need. The National Strategic Plan aims to ensure this through the development of a national database which identifies childcare provision by area and type, using indicators such as population, income demographics and projected birth rates to highlight both gaps and over-supply in this sector. 

Childcare provision in the city and county grew significantly over the last decade with the support of government investment.  More recently, however, the increase in unemployment levels has led to a decrease in the demand for full day care services.  As a result, any available funding is now being targeted at quality improvement in terms of provision and upgrading existing facilities.

The current National Strategic Plan for Early childhood Care and Education programmes 2011-2013 is coming to a close and a new strategy is in process with expected completion in July 2013.  This will provide the over-arching policy framework for the provision of childcare and early education in the city and county.  Local annual plans are developed based on the priorities of the national strategy.


Kilkenny Local Authorities has worked with Kilkenny County Childcare Committee, through its role on the County Development Board, to improve the quality, provision and affordability of childcare in the city and county.  The Councils will continue to work with the County Childcare Committee in responding to the changing needs of society in terms of childcare demand and services under the new structures of the Socio-Economic Committee. 

The Councils will ensure that any new facilities are suitably located, are of a high quality and are inclusive of all children, including children with disabilities.  Applicants are encouraged to liaise with the County Childcare Committee in advance of preparing planning applications in order to ascertain the local requirements. 


Objective: The Councils will facilitate the provision of childcare and early childhood education facilities in a sustainable manner in appropriate locations which include the following: larger new housing estates, industrial estates and business parks, in the vicinity of schools, neighbourhood and district centres and adjacent to public transport facilities. 


The Councils will assess, in conjunction with the Kilkenny County Childcare Committee and the new Socio-Economic Committee, the continuing needs around childcare and related facilities and review progress on the provision of same during the period of this Plan.       Childcare Development Management standards

The Councils will require the provision of appropriate childcare facilities in accordance with the Childcare Facilities Guidelines for Planning Authorities[7] i.e. for seventy five houses or more, the provision of a purpose built unit for childcare.  Where appropriate the Councils will operate the requirement of the guidelines in a flexible manner having regard to the Kilkenny Childcare Strategy.


In general childcare facilities will be assessed on the following:


  • The suitability of the site/premises for the type and size of facility proposed, taking into consideration the effects on the existing amenities of the area. 
  • Adequacy of vehicular and pedestrian access and parking provisions, which may be required to include satisfactory and safe collection/drop-off areas where appropriate, for both customers and staff where it is merited by the scale of the development and the resultant intensity of vehicular movements. 
  • Provision of an adequate outdoor play area within the curtilage of all full day care facilities.  This outdoor play area shall be located to have minimum impact on the amenity of surrounding properties, particularly in residential areas and should also be separate from car parking and service areas. 
  • The design of the structure and capability of it being assimilated satisfactorily in to the built environment.
  • Ease of accessibility for all.


Applications for crèches, playschools and pre-school facilities shall comply with the Childcare Facilities Guidelines for Planning Authorities, Child Care (Pre-School Services)(No. 2) Regulations 2006 and the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No2) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 and We Like This Place - Guidelines for Best Practice in the Design of Childcare Facilities (2005) (or any such other relevant standards and legislation that may be enacted) and shall be accompanied with information in relation to details of the proposed opening times, proposed number and age range of children, proposed number of staff, internal floor areas devoted to crèche, excluding areas such as kitchens, toilets, sleeping and other ancillary areas, details of external play areas and car parking arrangements for both parents and staff. 


5.6.2       Primary, Post Primary & Third Level Education       Primary & Post-Primary Schools

Census 2011 results show that the City’s level the population increased by 10% to 24,423 persons, which was an increase of 2,244 since 2006.  The age profile of the county is similar to that of the State. It is notable that in the 0-14 age cohorts there were 4,870 persons recorded. 


The Minister for Education and Skills announced significant proposed capital investment in educational facilities in January 2012[8]; whilst no new schools have been identified for construction in Kilkenny city or county within this period, several schools have been identified for expansion.


Decisions on the future requirements for educational facilities are primarily a matter for the Educational Authorities.  However, the Provision of Schools and the Planning System, A Code of Practice for Planning Authorities[9] outlines that the planning system plays a critical role in anticipating future development and co-coordinating the provision of the essential supporting infrastructure such as transport, water services, schools, amenity and community facilities.

The primary role of the Council is to reserve sufficient land within the identified development centres to meet likely future demands for community facilities including education. The provision of educational facilities should be planned and implemented in concert with residential development.  In accordance with Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas no significant residential development should proceed without an assessment of the capacity of existing schools or the provision of new school facilities in tandem with the development. 

Where new schools are required, they should be located close to, or within, the main residential areas of the village or town so that as many children/students as possible can walk or cycle to school.  The opportunity should be taken to locate the schools so that they naturally contribute to the development of a sense of community in new neighbourhoods. Where possible, these schools should be served by a dedicated and safe footpath and cycle-way network.

Objective: The Councils will liaise with the Department of Education and Skills, and all providers of education, to assist where possible in the development of adequate education centres, and to identify and facilitate the provision of suitable sites for new educational facilities as the need arises.       Dual Use of School Buildings

Schools and other educational premises represent a valuable resource in terms of land and buildings, which generally is only used on a partial basis.  The dual use of educational facilities, where it does not conflict with the delivery of the education service (i.e. outside school hours and during school holidays) can contribute to meeting the wider needs of the community, by helping to satisfy demand for a variety of activities.

Where lands and buildings can be beneficially used by the community, the Councils will promote such uses subject to available resources. Where new schools or community facilities are proposed, opportunities will be sought to ensure that they are designed in such a way as to facilitate multi-use of the buildings.       Third Level Education

The 2011 Census shows that 21% of persons aged 15 years and over in the county whose full time education has ceased had attained a third level qualification[10].  For the City this figure was 26.5%[11], which is slightly above the national average of 24.6%.  


Work is complete on the provision of a 3rd/4th level Research and Innovation unit at St. Kieran’s College (This is a joint venture between Kilkenny Local Authorities, Waterford Institute of Technology (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group or TSSG) and Carlow Institute of Technology.  The centre focuses on next generation internet services and service innovation.  The centre will be assisted by collaboration with the National University of Ireland Maynooth, (N.U.I.M.) and other 3rd level institutions (See objective under section 4.4.1).

St. Kieran’s College Campus also incorporates an outreach campus of the National University of Ireland Maynooth. 


5.7       Social Capital

Social Capital may be defined as that which accrues to a person or group as a result of their active participation in the life of their communities.  For example, social capital is said to be gained from neighbourliness, local area networking or volunteering. 

Kilkenny Local Authorities are committed to the Agenda 21 process of building partnerships between local authorities and local development and other sectors to develop and implement local policies for the development of sustainable communities.  This commitment involves a wide range of public consultation in the actions taken by the local authority from plan making and policy formulation to implementation of specific projects such as Kilkenny Age Friendly County Initiative, Kilkenny Integration Forum as well as capital projects involving local community leadership.  The Councils will promote the development of social capital by providing opportunities for interaction, participation and the co-ordinated provision of public services.

Putting People First: An Action Plan for Effective Local Government[12] was published in October 2012.  It sets out a vision for Local Government that it will be the main vehicle of governance and public service at local level leading economic, social and community development and representing citizens and local communities effectively and accountably.  The actions it proposes in support of this vision include the establishment of a Socio-Economic Committee (SEC) in each City and County Council area with the responsibility for planning and oversight of all local and community development programmes. The SECs will have responsibility for developing a 5-year City and County local and community plan, encompassing all State and EU funded local and community development interventions. The enhanced alignment of local government and local development represents a notable change, towards an approach based on even greater collaboration. This also gives the opportunity to better target public funding and to avoid overlaps.  The outcome sought is better area-based planning and better impacts from the various local and community development services and funding, for the benefit of citizens and communities.

While the main representation for the voluntary sector in County Kilkenny is through the Community and Voluntary Forum there are a number of fora operating that address specific issues including; the Older People’s Forum, The Traveller Interagency Group, the Local Drugs Task Force, Kilkenny Integration Forum, and the Groups for Social Justice.  It is envisioned under the new SEC structures that these fora will come together to form an expansion of the former Social Inclusion Measures Group that will be representative of the existing forums and groups operating within the County and City at community and county level.

Kilkenny Local Authorities will work with relevant organisations, through the new expanded Social Inclusion Measures Groups and/or the SEC and its key forums in the city and county, to facilitate the provision of public and social services in areas of identified need throughout the county and to advance social inclusion and development by developing the co-ordinated delivery of services and facilities in the city and county.

It is through these measures that the local authorities will seek to build social capital within the city and county.



To integrate the planning and sustainable development of the county with regard to the social, community and cultural requirements of the county and its population.


5.8       Social Integration

According to Census 2011, 13.5% of Ireland’s population now identify themselves with ethnic groups with roots in other countries and whose cultures are quite different to that of the majority population; while a further 0.7% at least are re-affirming their distinct Traveller cultural identity. The corresponding figures for  County Kilkenny are a little lower at 9.4%  and 0.5% respectively, but no less significant.

The Kilkenny Integration Forum was established in January 2010 as a broad forum of multiple stakeholders interested in promoting integration from a diverse range of different community and service provider backgrounds with the overall aim: ‘To recognise diversity and promote intercultural harmony in County Kilkenny by providing opportunities for community, business and statutory sectors to interact regularly and support collaborative initiatives’.

Kilkenny Integration Forum, with the support of Kilkenny County Development Board (CDB) and The Integration Centre, coordinated the development of a long-term strategy to advance integration in County Kilkenny - Kilkenny Integration Strategy 2013-2017[13].

The strategy includes an Action Plan 2013-2017 which is centred on five broad thematic headings, which are derived from policy document parameters agreed at EU-level: (1) Employment and Economic Activity, (2) Education and Training, (3) Active Civic and Civil Participation, (4) Social Inclusion (engaging and interacting with service providers), (5) Social Inclusion (expressing culture and identity; addressing discrimination).  Strategic aims and specific actions have been developed under each of the headings, with strategic partner agencies identified to help achieve these aims.

The Councils will support the Kilkenny Integration Forum to achieve the aims and objectives set out in the Kilkenny Integration Strategy 2013-2017.


5.9       Library Service

Kilkenny County Library’s mission statement is to provide a quality, accessible service which enhances the lives of the communities of Kilkenny, through the provision of a knowledge resource promoting imagination, lifelong learning and culture.


The role of the library as a community resource is to:

  • Encourage a love of reading
  • Educate and entertain, supporting lifelong learning and relaxation
  • Inform and challenge, aiding informed life choices, critical thinking, active

Citizenship and intellectual freedom

  • Assist personal development
  • Extend literacy and encourage the reluctant reader
  • Develop a wider reading outlook
  • Develop an audience and provide a source of inspiration and imagination for the Arts and Music
  • Encourage economic activities and sustainable communities
  • Promote accessibility and social inclusion thorough materials in different formats and reflecting community diversity
  • Increase knowledge of local and other cultures and heritage
  • Preserve and enhance the collective memory of Kilkenny City and County
  • Enable and promote access and use of ICT and e-Government


The Library Service continues to address issues and areas identified in Wider Horizons: The Library Development Plan 2009-2013 under the areas of: Access and Participation; Infrastructure; Information Technology; Libraries Collections and Information; Management and Staffing; and Marketing and Promotion.

A  new City Library is proposed at County Hall in Kilkenny City which it is intended will be a flagship building and an accessible community resource for current and future generations, embracing new technologies and services. 

The Council will continue to improve the library service for all and to develop internal and external partnerships, resource sharing and 24/7 services.



To progress and achieve the completion and opening of the new City Library at County Hall.


5.10  Health

Healthcare and medical facilities are provided by public, private and voluntary agencies within Kilkenny City and County.  The Health Service Executive is the primary organisation responsible for the delivery of health care and personal social services to the people of Kilkenny.  With the scale of increase in population, it is to be expected that there will be a demand for more healthcare and medical facilities within the city and county to cater for the resident population.


The primary role of the Planning Authority with regard to health care is to ensure that there is an adequate policy framework in place inclusive of the reservation of lands should additional services be required.  Future provision should be planned and implemented in concert with residential development, especially where this is undertaken in the context of Local Area Plans. The Councils will reserve sites within development centres for health care facilities in consultation with the HSE.

The Health Service Executive’s policy approach reflects a shift away from traditional hospital-based care towards more community-based care with increased emphasis on meeting people’s needs at local level within primary care teams.  The Department of Health and Children published “The Primary Care Strategy” in 2001 and this promotes a team-based approach to service provision, designed to make available a fully integrated primary care service. A Primary Care Team is a team of health professionals who work closely together to meet the needs of the people living in the community.  They provide a single point of contact to the health system for the person.  Consequently, practices wishing to develop their premises are encouraged to provide a “one stop” primary health and community care service integrated into one building.  One-stop primary care medical centres and GP practices will be encouraged at locations which are easily accessible to members of the wider community.

There are two primary health care centres in County Kilkenny – one in Kilkenny city and another in Callan.  An additional six primary care teams operate throughout the county through a network of health centres working together. 

Healthcare facilities may include health centres, day centres, community nursing units, family resource centres, nursing homes/convalescent homes, community residences, sheltered workshops, activation centres and residential facilities for children and adolescents. These facilities require locations which are integrated with new and existing communities and which are easily accessible.


5.10.1  Hospitals

St. Luke’s Hospital and Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene are the acute hospitals located in the city and serving the county and wider catchment.  There are plans for an extension to St. Luke’s General Hospital to include a new emergency department, a new medical assessment unit and a new day-services ward. The first phase of this extension is currently under construction.

In addition to these facilities, private operators provide healthcare facilities at Aut Even Private General hospital.

St. Canice’s hospital and its grounds comprise a significant land bank within the city.  At present it contains the offices of the Health Service Executive, Lacken pitch and putt club, and the original hospital and associated outbuildings.  The site presents an opportunity for regeneration but within the context of an overall planning framework for the lands.  The Councils will co-operate with the Health Service Executive and other relevant stakeholders in the preparation of a masterplan or planning framework document for the St. Canice’s hospital site in order to determine the optimal land uses for the area.

The Councils will facilitate the development and expansion of health and medical care facilities in the city to meet the needs of the city and the wider catchment, subject to normal planning and environmental criteria and the development management standards. 


5.11  Positive Ageing

Kilkenny Local Authorities has been actively engaged in the Age Friendly County Initiative since 2010.  Kilkenny is the second County in Ireland to become an Age Friendly County.  The concept of an Age Friendly Community is linked to an initiative of the World Health Organisation started in 2007.  The Age-Friendly County initiative seeks to engage older people and their communities in making their communities better, healthier and safer places for older people to live and thrive.

Based on county-wide consultation the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy[14] was developed by the Age Friendly Alliance; the vision of the strategy states that ‘People of all ages benefit when communities are designed to be age-friendly, and where older people live life to their greatest potential [and] Older people’s talents, life experience and wisdom are valued and tapped into’.[15]  The strategy covers seven specific areas for action to benefit older people - (1) Respect and Social Inclusion and Social Participation, (2) Transport, (3) Home, (4) Communication and Information, (5) Community Support and Health Services, (6) Outdoor Spaces, Physical Environment and Public Services and (7) Civic Participation and Employment.  The Older People’s Forum, which was established as part of the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Programme, have been actively involved to ensure the implementation of actions outlined in the Strategy and have raised issues as part of the consultation process for this plan.  Issues raised in the strategy and by the Older People’s Forum are addressed in other sections of this plan – including Housing, Transport, Health, Requirements for New Development and Recreation.  Also the Plan adopts the concept of Universal Design (as outlined earlier) and proposes that planning for the built environment should facilitate accessibility, mobility and involvement of people of all ages, including those with disability for the durations of their lifetimes. 

In relation to the built environment, several studies have identified that the adequate provision of well-maintained footpaths, seating in public places and buildings, and access to transport (particularly in rural areas) enable older people who are less mobile to more fully participate in society.[16]

The Councils will support the aims of the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy and make Kilkenny an Age Friendly city and county.



[1] Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Urban Design Manual: A best practice guide, 2009

[2] National Disability Authority, Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach, 2012

[3] Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Managing and Resolving Unfinished Housing Developments - Guidance Manual, 2011

[4] Department of Environment and Local Government, Childcare Facilities Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 2001.

[5] Department of the Taoiseach, Towards 2016

[6] The Office for Social Inclusion, National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016, 2007

[7] Dept. of Environment Community & Local Government,  Childcare Facilities : Guidelines for Planning  Authorities (2001)

[8] Department of Education and Skills, Press Release 27 June 2011

[9] Depts of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Education and Science, Provision of Schools and the Planning System, A Code of Practice for Planning Authorities, 2008

[12] Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Putting People First: An Action Plan for Effective Local Government, 2012

[13] Kilkenny Integration Forum.  Uniting the Diverse – Kilkenny Integration Strategy . 2013.

[14] Age Friendly Alliance, Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy, 2009.

[15] Age Friendly Alliance, Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy, 2009, p5.

[16] Shannon, Sinead, The New Agenda on Ageing - To Make Ireland the Best Country to Grow Old In. Aging Well Network, Dublin, 2012.



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