D69 Zoning Freshford

1. What is the purpose of the submission?
The purpose is to request an amendment to the settlement boundary, FRESHFORD zoning, in Figure 3.4 of the Kilkenny Draft County Development P to include the area shown in the attached map.
Why? This request was first submitted on 9 September 2005 (copy attached) when amendments to the draft Local Area Plan LAP for Freshford were under discussion. The assessment and recommendation of the administration in FV SUB 1 was "the site in question is not the subject of my proposed amendment and therefore cannot, at this stage be considered". In other words, time barred because I only reacted immediately after I became aware of the existence of the draft LAP for Freshford.
The reasons advanced then are still valid
- site 100 metres from school entrance
- very near commercial centre, church, health centre, etc.
- children being bussed and driven to school when the proper use of available land, practically at the school entrance, could reduce the need for such transport. Walking to school or going by bicycle would contribute to reducing the problem of obesity. The KKCC issued an invitation to have your say by "A Guide to Having Your Say" of May 2012.
2. Background
I note on page 124 of the KDCDP "Freshford is arranged around a tree-lined Square. The Square forms, not only the physical centre of the town but also its social and commercial heart. It is the hub from which all local roads radiate, bringing life into the community. The green is surrounded by 19th century terraced houses, the Roman Catholic Church, a community hall and various shops and public
The Square is flanked to the east by a long wide road leading to the Catholic Church and to the local primary school located to the rear of the Church .. .. .. .. " .
It is extremely difficult to understand why the 2004/5 planning exercise could exclude the opportunity to recognise the potential advantages of residential capacity practically adjacent to the school firstly and also near the recognised centre of its town.
It is understood that extensive consultations were carried out as part of the preparation of the LAP (2005).
Unfortunately I was unaware as I was completely occupied with my challenging work in the Commission of the European Community.
It has taken a long time to take up the invitation to "have your say" as invited at the outset of this process and indeed foreseen in discussions back in 2005.
Efforts to date to say something include:
  • participation in 2 public meetings in 2012 : - zoning off the agenda at that stage
  • registration on ourplan.Kilkenny.ie
  • commenting on the Managers Report on consultations
  • correspondence with the forward planning team
  • participation in an information session in Castlecomer in July 2013.
The Development Management, set out in paragraph 3.3 - 53 to achieve the objections for smaller towns and villages, provides the planning authority with adequate power to control and ensure the right balance between encouraging development. The smaller towns and villages need to be developed in a way that strengthens their role as local service centres while respecting their existing character.
The draft plan clearly states there will be no land use zoning objectives in expired LAP settlements. The new settlement boundary is absolutely critical in giving land which is so close to the village centre and school - much nearer than some of the land zoned in 2005 - an equal opportunity to contribute to the logical development of the village. Besides applying the provisions for rural housing, as opposed to
those applied to areas under urban influence, to land so close to the centre of the village and the school seem excessive.
The County Council is both the housing authority and the planning authority. The strategy is incorporated into the draft Development Plan in Annex B.
It is noteworthy that in going from Appendix B to the text of the draft plan the emphasis by the Council on the provision of social and affordable housing via the local authority's house building programme is dropped. "The Council will seek to meet the increased demand for social and affordable housing in a number of ways as a housing authority through:
-RAS scheme
- affordable housing/joint venture schemes
- etc.
However, the reference to "the local authority house building programme" has been deleted as a means to meet the increased demand for such housing.
The "new houses required to cater for growth in paragraph 3.2 of Appendix B of 4353 for the period 2014 to 2020 does not seem correct.
The difference between the totals is due to the number of persons per household in Kilkenny County.
There are also differences in the numbers on a housing waiting list for 2011: 2329 in Table 4 and 2198 (by selection) in Table 5.
There are also errors in percentages in paragraph 3 of Appendix B: Estimated needs for social and affordable houses.
As regards the strategic aim for transport policy, housing as close as possible to schools would contribute to meeting this policy objective.
The forward planning service of Kilkenny County Council is to be congratulated on compiling this Draft Development Plan. It shows the vibrancy of activity in the area concerned. It is very progressive in all aspects - a little prescriptive in some areas perhaps.
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