Kildare County Council Adopts Athy Local Area Plan 2021-2027
The Elected Members of the Athy Municipal District resolved to adopt the Athy Local Area Plan 2021–2027 at a Special Meeting held in Áras Chill Dara on Tuesday 3rd August 2021. The Local Area Plan replaces the Athy Town Development Plan 2012 – 2018 as the key statutory planning document which will guide and manage the development of the town in the period to 2027 and comes into effect six weeks after its adoption.
The Local Area Plan is underpinned by a strategic vision which seeks to harness the town’s existing economic, social and environmental assets to generate sustainable economic development and job creation over the longer term. For example, the development of the Barrow Blueway and associated facilities will cement the town’s status as a visitor destination of regional importance. This will enable the creation of synergies (i.e. the growth of tourism-based enterprises and spin-offs) which will in turn initiate a broader economic regeneration of Athy, creating new locally based employment opportunities and enhancing its position as the main economic and services centre of South Kildare.
While the primary focus of the Athy Local Area Plan is to provide for much needed additional housing within the town, it also seeks to initiate a shift towards a model of low carbon development and the creation of a climate resilient, healthy and more inclusive settlement. To this end, the Plan is accompanied by an Urban Regeneration Framework (Appendix 1) which seeks to translate and ground the ideas and concepts set out in the Plan into clearly identifiable projects and actions. These include a selection of initiatives ranging from transformative place-based change of the public realm to pursuing various economic development opportunities, along with prioritising sustainable transport options within the town. It is noted that four out of the eight Priority Projects identified in the Urban Regeneration Framework have already been commenced and more will follow over the next year. Such encouraging progress demonstrates that as well as being a statutory planning document, it is also plan of action and a platform on which to build a more sustainable and resilient community in Athy over the period to 2027 and beyond.