Social Democrats Kildare Councillor Aidan Farrelly has greeted with concern the news from An Bord Pleanála that a total of 1,299 new homes are planned in North Kildare without any planning for infrastructure and public services.
One application in Clane which encompasses 366 units – 184 houses and 182 apartments has been submitted to An Bord Pleanála for permission. A decision from the planning authority is due by September 26 2019.
The largest of two Naas-based developments comprises of 500 dwellings (356 houses and 144 apartments) which, if granted permission will be developed at Millennium Park in Naas. The second, to be located on Devoy Link Road, Naas will see the construction of 313 units (209 houses and 104 apartments).
Mill Street, Maynooth will see 120 apartments and a crèche being built, although this and the two Naas-based applications are currently at pre-application stage.
On the applications currently before An Bord Pleanála, Cllr Farrelly said:“Taken together, a total of 1,299 dwellings under four separate Strategic Housing Developments are at various stages of the planning process. Like many, my initial reaction is to welcome new housing developments.
“However, the scale of the proposed developments will mean at least 3,000 new residents settling in Clane, Naas and Maynooth. There has been absolutely no thought given to how families will get to work, what schools they will go to. GPs services are already at capacity.
“This government has presided over a housing crisis that continues to worsen – over 10,000 homeless people in Ireland is a shameful indictment of the current Housing Minister’s term of office. We need to build sustainable communities, not just new homes. People need services and infrastructure too.
“You won’t get a GP in Clane, they’re at absolute capacity. The secondary school is no different. And that’s before we even mention the roads. The litany of issues attached to major housing developments in Clane are plain for all to see.
“If Naas sees an overnight increase of over 800 houses and apartments – are we expected to assume Naas Hospital can cope with that? Or like Clane, can An Bord Pleanála assure the Naas community with absolute certainty that schools, GP’s and public transport systems as currently provided will cope?
“We must avoid a situation whereby communities find themselves bereft of services after the fact. By then it’s simply too late.”
On Strategic Housing Developments, Cllr Farrelly added:
“The Strategic Housing Development process is being reviewed, and the Kildare Social Democrats team of Councillors look forward to making a submission on it. I’m calling on our Government Ministers to come together, to listen to the communities with which these developments will impact most and respond collectively to ensure the social infrastructure is developed in advance of any major housing development.
“Why not legislate to have a representative from all the major Government Departments including Health, Education, Children and Youth Affairs at the table when such judgements are being made?
“Communities in North Kildare are already working with a deficit – whether it’s in terms of health care, local authority funding or access to social and community services.”