D49 Zoning

We wish on behalf of our client Mr. Garrett O’Caroll who along with his brother Cormac is the legal owner of Archersgrove quarry to apply for partial change of the zoning of the above site from Recreation, Amenity and Open Space to General Business.

History of Site:-

The overall site which has in total approximately 1.2 hectares consists of a disused quarry and lands above the quarry situated on the outskirts of Kilkenny town behind a petrol station.  The area has been derelict since it was used as a quarry and was backfilled over the years by Kilkenny County Council with surplus road material and at a later stage by spoil during the construction of the adjoining Melville Heights Estate in the 1980’s / 90’s .

A section of the site on the raised ground above the quarry to the East was the subject of an application for a bungalow adjoining the Melville Heights development in 2010 Planning Ref: 09534 which was refused by An Bord Pleanála because of “negative visual impact.”

A proposal for a Nursing Home on the actual quarry site was discussed with Kilkenny County Council back in 2009 at which stage a Preliminary Geology Report was undertaken with a view to seeking a material contravention.  This proposal was not proceeded with for commercial reasons although the feedback from the Planning Department at the time was favourable subject to favourable reports in relation to geology (a copy of this proposal is included at Appendix A).

Present Zoning:

The quarry site is zoned Recreation, Amenity and Open Space under the current Draft Development Plan.  The North East corner of the site above the quarry face is presently zoned Residential, as are the lands to the east generally.

The lands immediately to the North West are zoned General Business and the lands immediately to the South West are zoned Recreation Amenity and Open Space.

This proposal is to extend the existing General Business zoning to the North West into the proposed site with the remainder of the site to remain in its present zoning as Open Space (See Appendix E),


It is also proposed to extend the Open Space zoning to the North East Corner of the site and to the lands immediately bounding Melville Heights above the quarry face thus the entire quarry face and the lands immediately and above and below the quarry face would be zoned Open Space along with a continuous strip approximately 15m wide within the quarry sufficient to accommodate pedestrian routes and not to compromise the heritage value of the quarry.

Reasons for Present Zoning:

There are two main reasons for the present Amenity and Open Space zoning namely ‘geology’ issues and ‘green infrastructure’.  The site is included in the GSI Database of Geological Heritage Sites for its carboniferous stratigraphy and economic geology significance and is also mentioned in the Kilkenny City Habitat Survey Report.

Apart from these the two significant issues the site has little to justify its Open Space zoning being a privately owned unmaintained and inaccessible overgrown area adjoining the rear of a filling station with no benefit to the adjoining residential communities.

Geology Issues:

The site has been well documented in the Geological Heritage Audit of Sites in Kilkenny in 2007 and the report is attached at Appendix B.  I also attach a copy of preliminary correspondence with GSI.

More recently we have been in contact with Dr. Sarah Gatley, Senior Geologist, Head Geological Heritage and Planning Programme of GSI and sent her a copy of our proposed rezoning.  I attach a copy of her correspondence at Appendix C.  I believe this speaks for itself and I quote from her report “Whatever type of proposed development, there would be no forseen impact on the integrity of the quarry walls”. “The GSI looks forward to working with you and your client, and welcomes this as an opportunity to demonstrate that geological heritage can co-exist with development”.

Green Infrastructure:

The services of  Roger Goodwillie and Associates were secured to prepare a report on the proposed rezoning of part of the Archersgrove Quarry and a copy of this report is attached at Appendix D.  I believe this report also speaks for itself and I quote from the concluding paragraph “Management of the habitat is essential in order to retain the ecological interest of the Black Quarry.”

“The only realistic option in the current situation seems to be to allow a comprehensive development on the site with a relatively small footprint so as not to compromise the heritage value.”

The extent of this footprint may need some further consideration and is open to interpretation.  Mr. Goodwillie’s report does not take account of the benefit of extending the zoned Open Space to the North East of the site on the higher ground which would presumably be of further benefit.

Suitability to General Business Zoning:

As the site adjoins the current General Business Zoning to the North West it is a logical extension of this adjoining use. 

The site is accessed from a wide and straight stretch of the Kilkenny/Bennetsbridge road with good sight lines available. Mains drainage and water services are available in the roadway adjoining the site.

The proximity to the city centre and to large residential developments make the site particularly suitable to General Business uses and a well designed development would screen the very basic industrial facades to the rear of the existing filling station whilst providing public access to this important geological, green corridor site.

Advantages of Proposed Rezoning:

  • The present use condemns the site to continuing dereliction, under utilisation and ensures it will deteriorate without proper management.
  • Conditions on a Planning Consent could provide for the development and management of a linear green belt and render an unstable habitat stable.
  • The rezoning would provide an opportunity to preserve and promote geological heritage and provide an opportunity for interpretation of natural and built heritage side by side.
  • The opening up of this linear parkland would provide an opportunity to link the site with existing river walks and tourist trails.
  • The proposal outlined will provide access from the surrounding residential developments to link to existing Nore river walks and more directly to the town centre via pedestrian and cycle laneways.  This would benefit both the Marble Crest Estate and the Melville Heights Estate.
  • The linear parkway if formed would also provide a vital link to remaining lands zoned Open Space and Amenity to the West direct to the river walk on the banks of the Nore.
  • The General Business Zoning proposed would be well screened from existing residential developments to the South and East and the proposed linear park would provide an adequate buffer between the General Business zoning and the residential developments.

My clients believe that the partial rezoning of their site would be to the greater benefit of the community at large whilst affording them an opportunity to develop part of their lands and they would be happy to discuss either a direct transfer of part of the lands (zoned Open Space) to the Local Authority or planning conditions attached to General Business Usage which would provide for the opening up / management of the green corridor.



First Name: 
Garrett and Cormac
Last Name: 
Name of Organisation or Group: 
Patrick Halley and Associates
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