Council Archives

Green light for nursing home for Mill Lane

Mon 17 Jun 2002

The site is within a mile-and-a-half of the town centre.

Plans for the site also include affordable housing for first time buyers, and sheltered accommodation for the elderly.

Councillors agreed a material contravention of the 1999 Naas Town Plan to allow the development take place by 6 votes to 3.

In favour were Cllrs Willie Callaghan, Seamie Moore, Timmy Conway, Pat O’Reilly, Charlie Byrne and Eibhlin Bracken. Against were Cllrs Mary Glennon, Pat McCarthy and Anthony Egan.

In a report town clerk Declan Kirrane said: “All the issues have been dealt with satisfactorily regarding this application.”

He explained that a nursing home is “not normally permitted” on land zoned for amenity purposes and that was why a material contravention was required.

Cllr Pat McCarthy asked the council to refuse the application because of the higher densities sought by the developer and the site’s proximity to the canal.

The developer is seeking a 56% increase in densities over that allowed in the town plan, but in line with the Greater Dublin guidelines.
Cllr McCarthy said it was “completely inappropriate” in that area and if all developers sought higher densities it would have awful repercussions. “We are setting a precedent,” he claimed. Cllr Mary Glennon pointed out that there are other such sites in Naas.

Cllr Timmy Conway didn’t see any problem with a nursing home for Naas.

He said the developer is giving some parkland to the council, together with 75,000 towards developing it. “If properly drained, it would be parkland for people walking down the canal. I think it’s a good deal,” he enthused.

However, Cllr Glennon said the green parkland is actually a set back as it is within 90 meters of the canal and so is free from development. She said one got the feeling that certain councillors would have “filled in the canal with concrete”. She thought the idea that these developers “would make us a gift of something they can’t develop is laughing in our faces”.

“It was made very clear to the vendors that that piece of land on which they now plan to build a nursing home was not to be used for building in the future,” she stormed.

Cllr Anthony Egan felt the council should first discuss the consequences of putting in high densities without proper facilities.

Supporting the venture, Cllr Pat O’Reilly said he wanted a 6-7 ft wall built at the rear of the houses at the bridge to protect the privacy of people living there.

While he disagreed with “heavy” densities, he said in this case the advantages out-weigh the disadvantages. He said improvements have been made by the developer, and they should not be ignored.

When canvassing for the general election, Cllr Charlie Byrne found some local residents in the area didn’t seem to know what was going on and others were not greatly concerned.

He had received a letter from some residents who said they are ‘realists’ and not against development of the site. He wanted the wall built before major work starts.

Cllr Seamie Moore believed the parkland would be important to people who walk the canal area and would bring a corridor of wild life into the town.

Mayor Willie Callaghan said a lot of issues raised by the residents have now been addressed. Others can be put in as a condition of planning permission.