Transcript:- Monday, 4th July, 2016. Wicklow County Council. 10am
Transcript begins. CATHAOIRLEACH: Members, hello? Yeah, could we just, we are starting the meeting about five minutes late, so can we go ahead with the meeting? Everyone ready? There seems to be a few … em, obviously we will deal with items one, &nb to eight – one to eight. I am proposing that the annual service delivery plans, number eight that we could put that back to the end of the meeting if the members agree? Not that we don’t want – pardon?
Cllr VANCE: What were you saying
CATHAOIRLEACH: The report from the directors, annual service —
Cllr VANCE: Like what you are saying, if we get on with the Development Plan as our business here first and that can be put back for another day, I think it’s more important that we get into the Development Plan, with due respect to all the directors of services now, but I mean, I think that’s more important, I would agree we put it back to the end of the meeting and if there is time at the end of the meeting, fine. If not we can take it another day.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, everyone in agreement? Yeah, we will run on now from items one, sorry is there any votes of sympathy? Okay thank you. Just item one to confirm and sign minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Wicklow County Council held on Monday 9th May. Item number two, to consider the disposal of point 0054 hectares sore thereabouts of land to the rear of ten Millfield Enniskerry, to Mervyn tinneddal. Cllr FOX: Proposed. Seconded John Ryan. Item number three, to consider the disposal of the Council’s interest in fee farm grant created by deed of conveyance, previously circulated. Seconded by Christopher Fox. Item number four to consider the disposal of Fee Simple interest of land at Ballynagran to William Hamilton. Previously circulated. John Snell. Shay Cullen. Number five to consider the disposal of land at Corballis Rathdrum to Jean Woolmington. Mary. Item number six, to consider report in accordance with Part VIII of the planning and development regulations 2001 in respect of development of a playground and play space at lot lane Kilcoole. The Director Michael Nicholson is going to speak on the matter.
Director NICHOLSON: The members will be aware we have been trying to build a playground for the past number of years after many false starts, we finally got a site sorted. And we have gone through a Part VIII process. Now we did send out the agenda on Wednesday because we had to because the meeting was on today. The closing date for objection was on Friday. We did get an objection in on Friday but most of the issues raised in the objection were dealt with in the planner’s report, so my recommendation would be to proceed with the playground.
Cllr FORTUNE: I’ll propose
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune proposed. MS
Cllr WALSH: I’ll second that. (a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: 20 for and 12 not present.
Director NICHOLSON: Thank you members
CATHAOIRLEACH: All the disposals are agreed now, are they?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Item number seven to consider report in accordance with Part VIII of the planning and development regulations 2001 as amended in respect of development of 45 housing units in Rathnew Co Wicklow. We all got a copy. Cllr Snell?
Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach. Again I would just like to say to the members that on behalf of the Housing SPC and as the local Councillor for the Asia that we fully endorse this it’s 45 housing units on a 4.1 acre site in an area (can’t hear) I think this is a badly needed development, as we all know we would prefer if the Local Authority could build all the houses themselves, but the formula and the blueprint for going forward nationally is that the voluntary housing sector is stepping up the plate and it’s to be welcome. We in County Wicklow have a good working relationship with a number of voluntary housing sector groups and I would just like to point out that the mix in this development is better than what we used to get in the past, where one bedroom units seem to be neglected, or even two bedroom units, with ten one bedrooms, eight two bedrooms, 24 three bedroom units and one four bedroom bungalow for people with disabilities. I would call on all the members to support this Part VIII here today. The only, I suppose, observation I would make is that it is the naming of the estate. As we all know saint Ernan’s is a huge part of Rathnew in regards to the local community and we are losing the bio school which was named after the patron saint, saint Ernan’s, this particular area it’s going at the end of a housing estate, which is already in existence. We have St Patrick’s terrace, St Brigid’s terrace, and this site is divided by a brook, a river. At the moment we have Hazel wood brook is the – a couple of units in the area. I would love to see, and I’ll be probably calling on the members at a later date to support something along the lines of saint Ernan’s brook, but having said that, that’s in its in-fancy now and I just want to wish Cluid the people who are building these units all the best. They’ve took a really hands on approach with this site from the very beginning, trying to incorporate and work around the local community, so they’ve been very, very active in conjunction with the housing section and the staff there, so I fully endorse this here this morning, thanks Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Sorry, Councillor Ryan.
Cllr RYAN: I do business with Cluid, so I have to exclude myself from this part of the meeting. Thanks.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Anyone else want to speak? Will we take a vote on that.
MS GALLAGHER: We have a proposer, Cllr Snell. Seconded by Councillor Dunne.
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: Again that’s 12 not present and 20 for.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Yeah while we are at it, item number eleven, to consider request for twinning proposal between Wicklow County Council, or sorry between Carnew and Smiths falls, Ontario Canada. We all got a copy of that. Is that a matter to go back to the protocol, is it
MS GALLAGHER: This is a request from one town to twin with another, so it’s not a request under section 75 of the Local Government Act. It’s basically from one town to go ahead and twin with another. Really what they’re looking for is the Council’s endorsement to the proposal so that they can seek grants or just move forward in a positive way with their twinning proposal. But again it’s not a request for twinning of Local Authority areas under section 71 of the Local Government Act 2001.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Can I just support this Chairman. Thanks for taking it, I think we have done something similar in the past with Glendalough and Avoca and other parts of Europe. So just to propose from Carnew, an element of support for it. We did have some discussion in terms of some funding at the Baltinglass Municipal District meeting at our last meeting, so we had some support for that meeting as well, it’s to give the opportunity to the Committee to continue with the progress of the twinning arrangements and I would just formally propose it Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Doran.
Cllr DORAN: I would like to support that. I think we should take it back to the Protocol Committee until we get some more information.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: Thanks Cathaoirleach. Just in relation to twinning in general, you know each Municipal District seems to be twinned with somewhere different or different parts. And rather than each Municipal District trying to organise their twinning independently could we not just have it as something under one of the cultural, what’s Michael Nicholson’s directorate? Yeah, that maybe it should be just come part of that, and that the whole twinning from the county is run from within that department. So that there is an even spread of the there always seems to be a huge trip every year to Bray, and there isn’t the same resources for the other twinning opportunities within the district and maybe we should look at it as countywide and have a county fund spread between everybody.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: I would agree with what Cllr Winters is saying there, but I think we should send it back to the Protocol Committee, let them discuss it and bring a policy that will cover what Cllr Winters was saying throughout the whole county as well. I think that is the area where it should be discussed, because it is interesting – I read that proposal and it is very interesting and there is a – like a huge – there obviously was a huge amount of people gone from that particular area to Ontario Smith falls, but there is a number of these issues coming up and I think we really need to get a policy on it and the only way to do it is to go back to the Protocol Committee to discuss a future policy and recommendations in regard to that as well. I would – if Cllr Winters is proposing that, I think that’s the area where we need to go down the road. Thank you.
Cllr RYAN: Just to clarify, the Wurzburg partnership with twinning is with Bray and County Wicklow, it’s not just with Bray. ^^
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, there is a proposal there. Now we are on to item number —
Cllr BLAKE: Can I just ask, have we formally accepted it, I think it’s important that we do accept it because a fact an awful lot of the Canadians are coming over here in the next few weeks, so it would be nice to formalise it that we at Wicklow County Council —
MS GALLAGHER: It’s not for Wicklow – it’s between the two towns, so you have our blessing.
Cllr BLAKE: We have formally accepted that we are supportive of it? That’s fine, thank you
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just we are on now to item number 12, to consider the Chief Executive’s report on submissions to the draft County Development Plan —
Cllr MITCHELL: Are we not doing the capital investment plan number nine.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We left that.
Cllr MITCHELL: We only left eight.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Sorry, eight and nine, yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are on to item number 12, and we have —
Cllr WINTERS: Are we leaving number nine then.
MS GALLAGHER: Eight and nine.
Cllr MITCHELL: I only heard we were leaving eight.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I meant to say nine.
MS GALLAGHER: They both go together, they’re twins.
CATHAOIRLEACH: They are twins, they’re joined at the hip anyway. As I said previously, we are on to number 12 and I was proposing that we have submissions, the Chief Executive’s report on the draft plan, and we also have 34 amendments proposed by Councillors, and I am not trying to speed up the process, but – and I have no problem with being here again, but I do feel we will have duplication, so I am proposing we take the 44, or 34 Councillors amendments first, and then, I mean some of them are related, or all are related to the Chief Executive’s report, and if the members agree with that, I propose we go ahead with that? And then revert back. Any problems with that. The first one is on if we look at it there, we have been given a copy of it there on Friday, is Councillor amendment number one, Cllr Vance, and the amendment is not to accept the CE’s amendment number nine. Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Before you start, have we a seconder for that.
Cllr BLAKE: I’ll second it Chairman.
Cllr VANCE: I don’t think there is any disagreement on that, it’s not extra zoning, it’s just a reconfiguration of the site to apply an open space provision on it and also (INAUDIBLE) the other ones are – the issues that I have proposed there, sorry about that, I thought it was —
CATHAOIRLEACH: It’s Councillor amendment number one, related to nine.
Cllr VANCE: It’s just, they’re just small little changes on that I believe that the members would agree on in regard to the one where you can see it there for yourselves that to just move out the provision of a necessary rural dwelling to take that out all together to those with a definable social and economic need. I think most people would agree with that. The other issues then is on five, where, that you can read it for yourselves there in regard to that, five and six. And then there is a slight change on ten as well there, and they’re all designed to more or less to really make it more understandable for a lot of people that have had problems over the years. I want to formally propose that. I don’t think the economy executive has no objection to any of these either, so I don’t think there are any contentions but it’s just really a movement of a few words here and there. I formally propose that Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake, you seconded it did you?
Cllr BLAKE: Yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I’ll take the Director please.
CE: For housekeeping purposes, when you are doing this one, you are rejecting Council amendment nine, the Manager’s recommendation, or Chief Executive’s recommendation, number nine, as you are passing this and I am just doing that just to be clear for clarity.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone in agreement? Agreed. Okay. &nbs Amendment number two is proposed by various members.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman could I come in on this. Just, are we taking them individually
Cllr VANCE: This is the one, the mount Kennedy, the main in Kilpedder. Amendment number two. Could I propose that we reject the Chief Executive’s recommendation in regard —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Sorry, who is the seconder there.
Cllr Fox. Cllr VANCE: Could I propose that we reject the Chief Executive’s recommendation on this. People know all about this site. It’s been going back years. There is an existing planning permission on it and for as long as I have been on the Council for – when you have a situation where an existing planning permission, the Supreme Court have given a planning permission on this and I know people, the planners can say that that permission still exists on it and various things like that, and you can still look for a planning permission on it but I don’t think it’s right, and I think it’s – as a matter of fact I think it’s very wrong to go and down zone this particular land that has an existing planning permission. I think it should be a policy of – I never agreed with down zoning anyway because an awful lot of people down zoned land, it loses its value to my mind anyway and I certainly do not agree with this in any shape or form and I want to formally propose that we reject this and we keep it in the zoning that what exibses at the moment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: Thanks Cathaoirleach. Yeah, I feel this site since it was granted its planning permission and then all the people objected and then at the last minute withdrew their objections and it was too late and we had lost the jobs to another county. Like, we now know that the NRA have no problem with it, because they withdrew their objection. So the planning permission exists, we know that it’s been through every single planning authority in the country, and everybody agrees it’s a good site, why would we de-zone what we now know everybody agrees with is a good site because everybody withdrew their objections before they could be challenged on them? I would say leave it as it is at the moment. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman. Chairman, can we just get clarification from the Director that the zoning is only to permit a data centre, that it would not permit a further application for something that might be more traffic generating. I know the thoughts on a data centre is it’s got a low number of employees, and therefore there isn’t a huge traffic issue associated with it and I think that’s what the NTA’s main objection was to this. If we leave the zoning in place and a data centre was not to proceed, does that leave it open for an application for any other type of industrial or commercial use? Also if we were to remove the zoning, the permission would still remain and a data centre could still be constructed. Thanks Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you.
CE: I’ll just answer —
Cllr MITCHELL: I have a light on.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I just want Des to respond to that one. We will wait then, I know who’s lights on. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: I would like though support this. This data centre had a very difficult job getting planning permission. I think it’s very important if we can get a data centre here and we do have the advantage of a power line running above this site, which is unusual, and I think we should support it. And I certainly will be. But I am slightly disturbed that I have to read reports of these data centres going to many different places in Ireland and we haven’t had any progress on this. But I would be very keen to see progress on this. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: Thanks Cathaoirleach. I also would reject the CE’s recommendation on this, I am baffled by the whole thing. I think we should be rowing in as a Local Authority behind a project such as this. The publicity around data centres has been in all media over recent times and here we have a site with planning permission ready to go and rather than put something like this before us, I think we should be sitting down with the proposers and making it happen. I think it’s absolutely essential that we reject this particular recommendation.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I would support a resolution that we would retain the zoning on this particular site as this project has the potential to bring perhaps up to 1,000 jobs into County Wicklow and jobs that are very badly needed. But what’s also important is that it would set Wicklow at the lead of one of the most hi-tech data and energy recovery projects not just in Ireland, but in probably western Europe. It’s leading technology that is now being exported to many countries, I understand there is is significant interest in this development and I think it’s an excellent opportunity for Wicklow to get ourselves back into the area of hi-technology, high paying jobs, and mump needed – much needed employment in County Wicklow and I think we should all welcome the enterprise of this, a particular project, and we should, as a Council, be supporting job creation and job initiative in County Wicklow and to be at the cutting edge of hi-technology. They’re the type of jobs we now need in Wicklow, thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. If there is no more lights on, I would ask the Director to respond please.
CE: I’ll start obviously —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The Chief Executive gave his reasons why we didn’t recommend this amendment at the time, and they stand. And that’s in the main report that you have. Just to answer Cllr Matthews, I think the wording for this is for a data centre only, that’s what the members had proposed to remain in the plan. I think you are right, I mean the Council went to great lengths to try and get the NRA to remove this, their objection to this, in fact the Manager and I think the Cathaoirleach at the time, the Chairman of the SPC and planning staff went up to the NRA. We had a very bruising meeting. But our argument all along is data centres have very, very small employment, probably a couple of dozen and therefore it wouldn’t have a huge impact on the N11. And we didn’t get an immediate response obviously, but they did eventually withdraw it. So I would imagine that your understand something probably correct. That that’s why they with crew it. – withdrew it. The other thing is with the act of 2010, the members reject the advice of the Minister and the Minister’s advice in this case is that this should be taken out of the plan, or left out of the plan, you have to within three weeks write to the Minister explaining why you haven’t taken his advice. And this will actually follow on for all the other ones that you don’t take the Minister’s advice on. It’s just a statutory requirement, so something you probably – probably the proposals of these amendments, but we have to get down now and start writing up there on the reasons to the Minister.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks. We have to vote on each of these individually. So we will take a vote on the first one (can’t hear) proposed by Cllr Vance, seconded by Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Do you want to include the definition of the data centre. At the bottom there is a definition of a data centre. Does the proposer wish to include the definition of the data centre
CATHAOIRLEACH: What’s at the bottom would have to be kept into it. The reading at the bottom of the data centre (INAUDIBLE) storage systems, generally includes redundant or back up power systems, redundant data communications connections, environmental control, air-conditioning and security devices.” that’s what has to be kept in there.
Cllr MATTHEWS: How long is the permission
Cllr FORTUNE: This site?
Cllr MATTHEWS: By removing the zoning, permission would still stand to 2024 to construct a data centre?
CATHAOIRLEACH: I think we will take a vote on it anyway.
(a vote was taken) MS GALLAGHER: 25 for, one against and six not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Item number two, Rath East stroke Knockaloe Tullow to provide for light industrial development. And the proposal there is to reject the CE’s recommended amendment to omit this zoning. Again who is the proposer and seconder there?
Cllr DORAN: I would like to propose that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Doran. Seconder?
Cllr BLAKE: I’ll second it Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Anyone want to say anything? We will take a vote. Do you want to say something on that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: No, Cathaoirleach, I have made my statement for all of them already, I’ll come in on some of them where the Chief Executive feels these things —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Doran wants to say something.
Cllr DORAN: Sorry, I have done my piece.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman, this will apply to all these employment zonings that we are going to vote on. Look we are all agreed there is a need for employment zonings in the county, there is no doubt about that and of course we want to provide suitable locations for businesses to invest. Most of the reports we have got on this from very senior experienced planners suggest or recommend that we remove these zonings because they’re in the wrong location, the department, the NTA, all the planners within those organisations are all senior planners and our own Chief Executive recommends we remove this as are current Ministers. We had the IDA in here a couple of weeks ago and they told us what they’re looking for. They suggested how we can zone for employment that would attract investment and attract jobs. The NTA, the T I., all the State bodies that invest in ^^ in structure don’t support this. I think we would be going against the guidelines of those organisations, and I don’t see how we can expect to request them to invest in infrastructure if we are going against their plan and how they see investment developed. Also to have this scatter gun approach to employment zones along the N11, it will undermine the potential for growth in employment in the growth centres that we have designated along the East Coast and on the West in Blessington and Baltinglass. I don’t think it’s in the common good. I understand there is landowners here, they own the land and obviously there is implications for them in it. But I think what we should be doing under planning is for the common good and not for individuals. I would be proposing that we accept the CE’s recommendation to omit this zoning. Thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You need a seconder for that?
Cllr WINTERS: I’ll second.
Cllr DORAN: Chairman, I have changed my mind again. A number of years ago, when Rathwood was first proposed up there, all of the planners were against it at the time. It’s the only bit of industry we have in that area at the minute. It employs about 120 people. And this is across the road from that, where Wicklow woods were for a number of years. Now what are we supposed to live on in our own area? That’s within four or five miles of Tullow. And I am convinced that that’s where we want some industry in the country to keep people there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: Thank you, I would like to support this zoning, I think the point Pat Doran makes is very good, that it is a good thing to keep people there, and this is very far – unlike – I don’t agree with Cllr Matthews, this is a very long way from the N11, and this is the sort of rural area we want to keep small industries and – or set them up. And Cllr Matthews States that the IDA is – knows what’s wanted to attract industry. For 35 years the IDA has told us in Greystones what we must do to gets industry on one of the biggest sites, the best sites they said on the East Coast of Ireland for industry. We fixed the sewage, we fixed this, fixed that, fixed the other, fixed various access roads to that site and no industry, well a very small industry has come and they’ve done nothing and as far as they’re concerned, they don’t seem to be doing anything and we have done everything say said to do. I don’t place great emphasis on what the IDA says we must do to attract industry. They’ve totally failed in Greystones, I don’t support some of the other zonings later on, but I do think this one is a good one.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, I think – I’ll say this once, but I think it’s worth saying, in response to Cllr Matthews’ general point, which is that well senior planners would recommend it, therefore we should go with the scenier planner’s advice. If that’s the case, we might as well not be here, we might as well let the planners draw up the plan, amend the plan, pass the plan, hand us back the plan. There is a reason why we have the power to I can mat plan which is that we are public representatives who take on board the advice that we are given yes, but we are not obliged always to follow that advice and in this debate I think it’s important that we are not continually told the planners recommend it, therefore we must accept it. We have a duty to use our own judgement in these issues. Thanks Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just, I just want to say myself, I know that area quite well and Cllr Doran alluded there was a lot of employment there in that area there, and Rathwood has been a huge success up there, so I’ll be fully supporting this vote in any way.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Could I just come back in, just on a point of information there
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just put your light on please.
Cllr MATTHEWS: I just suggest as Cllr Mitchell said about the site in Greystones, if you have so many alternative sites dotted all around the county, you spread the attraction. What you should be doing is focusing on the growth centres and that’s where the employment zones will be and any benefit derived from that trickles down through the county, that’s how it, would. If you have sites all around the place, people are going to say where should we invest, this plan is scatter gun? And in terms of taking the planners’ advice, I take Cllr Behan’s point, but there is a pattern of very is he senior planners giving this advice, not just one planner recommending it. There is a pattern here.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We have two proposals here, Councillor Matthew’s proposal has been seconded so we will take that first.
MS GALLAGHER: To accept the amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: No, Cllr Matthews. No, he is not accepting the amendment.
Cllr WINTERS: In light of the comments I would like to withdraw my seconding of Cllr Matthews proposal.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We have to take a vote then. If everyone is not in agreement.
MS GALLAGHER: We are going to take a vote on the amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: There is no amendment now, there is no seconder.
MS GALLAGHER: For Cllr Doran and Cllr Blake.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Sorry, we are taking a vote on that one. So reject the CE – that’s what we are doing, but there is no other proposal now at this stage.
MS GALLAGHER: Proposed by Cllr Doran and seconded by Cllr Blake?
(A vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: 20 for, one against and six not – 25 for, one against and six not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The next one is Killmurray South to provide for – the proposal or the amendment from the Councillor is to accept the CE’s recommended amendment to omit this zoning and the same for Killmurray North, to accept the CE’s recommended amendment to omit this zoning. Okay. Any … any objectors? Agreed? Okay. So who has proposed that? Proposer? CAT Cllr Fox seconded it.
Cllr VANCE: We go along with the CE’s recommendation.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The two of them rejected. Yeah. We are on to Scratenagh crossroads to reject the Chief Executive’s recommended amendment to omit this zoning, that is to maintain this zoning. Who is speaking on that one?
Cllr MATTHEWS: I don’t agree, can we put it to a vote please
CATHAOIRLEACH: I think the Councillor who was going to propose that is in abs tense I can’t, so I am going to propose that myself. ^^ it’s just that site is about six miles from Arklow, so I need a seconder.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: I’ll second that one.
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: 23 for, one against, and eight not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The next one is the Kilpedder interchange, to reject the CE’s recommended amendment to omit this zoning, that is to maintain this zoning. Who is proposing.
Cllr MITCHELL: I am happy to propose that. Gerry Walsh, Cllr Walsh, do you want to say something.
Cllr MITCHELL: This is a major sitet has planning permission, a lot of it is currently being built, and there is also an objective in here to connect this site to the overbridge over the N11 where two bus routes go which provides good public transport. It’s on a five kilometre footpath and cycle path from Greystones, quite well connected for a site in that location. And it’s important, if we look at Dublin, we are told we shouldn’t develop along the N11, but if we look at Dublin along the M50, every single one of the junctions except Firhouse has a major employment centre at it and all our people are going in along the N11 and we need to get people to commute in the reverse direction. This is a particularly good large site which is well connected and also connected to public transport and I believe we should leave it in.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks Cllr Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: I would like to agree with the sentiments expressed by Cllr Mitchell. During the year there during our Economic Think Tank be one of the issues) can’t hear) is this in my opinion is an ideal site to promote employment, it’s near the Greystones catchment area, the Charlesland area, (INAUDIBLE)
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is everyone agreed on that.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Chairman, if the infrastructure was in place that Cllr Mitchell was referring to, I would probably go with this, but it’s not in place and putting an employment zone in there is not going to make that infrastructure go from. I could go with this if the infrastructure was put in place first, but at the current way it is, I can’t support T thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do I have a proposer for Cllr Matthews?
Cllr MATTHEWS: Sorry. &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: You are proposing – you are not supporting.
MS GALLAGHER: Proposed by Cllr Mitchell, seconded by Cllr Walsh.
(a vote was taken) 25 for, one against and six not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. The next one is Rathmore Ashford. To provide for employment use and the proposal there is to accept the CE recommended amend tomorrow omit this zoning, who is the proposer there. Shay, Cllr Cullen? Do you want to say something. Cllr Shay CULLEN: – oh a seconder yeah, proposed by – seconded by Cllr Walsh. Do you want to say something
Cllr Shay CULLEN: It’s just to obviously accept the recommendation. It’s evident at this stage that there doesn’t seem to be any employment uses going to be used on this site so with those reasons in mind, I think it’s important we accept the recommendations of the Chief Executive, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Gerry, Cllr Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: I just want to second that, the area is 60 hectares, my understanding was – sorry, am I on the wrong – oh, we are on the Rathmore one, I beg your pardon.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is everyone in agreement with that? Okay. The next one is Inchnappa South and Ballyhenry Ashford, I am not going to go through it you know what it’s about, to provide for the development of and expansion of the existing film studios in Ashford on the lands shown on map 501 in accord ns with the following, the proposal here is to accept the CE’s recommended amendment to the wording of this zoning, regarding the extent of this diseeng, please see next amendment. Who is the proposer here?
MS GALLAGHER: Seconded by Councillor Ryan.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: Can I just come in there, my understanding was it should be 62.5 and not 60? Cllr WALSH: ^^ this is related to the next amendment, how large the zoned area would be, this is on page 7 of the yellow documented. The red line, which is the revised proposal, what to zone is a proposal from Cllr Walsh, we can get the area double and triple checked to see is it 60 hectares or 62, but that’s the boundary we were going on, the line you indicated you were happy with. I can get that checked in the next few minutes, that’s no problem.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews, you want 20D come in there.
Cllr MATTHEWS: This vote is to accept &nb the CE’s recommended amendment to the wording of this zoning and the next line regarding the extent of this zoning, we are going to deal with that in the next amendment?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Yes. 62.25 did appear on a previous document. So bring the two together.
Cllr VANCE: Agreed Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed. Are we all agreed on both of them? Thank you.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We will check the actual area on the map, Cllr Walsh, if that’s all right. We are not arguing about the extent of the land, just how it’s measured, if that’s all right. We will just put in whatever the area is.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, the next one is Councillor amendment number four, Councillor James Ruttle. Oh sorry, I beg your pardon, I missed that one there. Killadreenan, to provide for light industrial and warehouse use and to add an additional employment zone to E M P 12. Who is the proposer there. Shay Cullen. Go ahead yeah.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Chairman, this is a 1.3 hectare site, to provide light industrial and warehousing use for the following reasons. The reaseweragens of economic activity on the area and the need for local employment. The current zoned industrial employment lands in the area are underdeveloped and these developed lands are required for employment. It is important to note that the existing buildings built in 1996 as part ever a large cereal farm that no longer exists. The proposed zoning only applies to existing buildings that are well located close to the other industrial buildings within the access to the M11. In previous times, there were two successful applications granted by Wicklow County Council on this site, and further reject bid Bord Pleanala for a large recycling facility. The current proposal is only for existing units for light industrial warehousing and we feel the change of use will have no adverse change in impact on surrounding area on what is proposed. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor you might give us a copy of that, would you please.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Have you got that there. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: Thank you Cathaoirleach. Just to say that these buildings were put up as agricultural buildings which are exempt from planning permission and the Council took some enforcement action some years on on this, and I feel that it sets a wrong precedent and certainly some of the neighbours did object to the change of use in this case. I also feel it makes it more difficult maybe to get some of the other zonings through maybe, whoever is going to object to these at a later stage, so I would be voting against this. Thank you
CATHAOIRLEACH: &nbs Councillor walls.
MS WALSH: I would be happy to second the proposal Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Of Cllr Cullen’s proposal?
Cllr WALSH: Cllr Cullen’s proposal.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, no-one else want to contribute?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: As Cllr Mitchell said, this did come about as agriculture development. Council did recommend granting permission here for a waste transfer station at one stage. Which was turned down by barred Pleanala on the result of objections from neighbours. The road system, whatever about for transfer station where there are professional drivers going up and down for light industry where you would be getting lots of ordinary traffic movements, the road is very, very narrow going up there. I think the Chief Executive has already given his recommendation and the report you have already, so I’ll say no more about it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right. We have to take a vote then, we are voting to provide for light industrial and warehousing use and to add an additional employment zone to E M P 12.
MS GALLAGHER: Proposed by Cllr Cullen and seconded by Cllr Walsh.
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: That’s 21 for, two against, eight not present and one abstaining.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Right, the next one is Killmurray, Kilmacanogue, to provide for light industrial and warehousing use, to add an additional employment zone to E M P 12. Can I have a proposer and seconder there. Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: I am proposing it and the reason I am proposing it, I accept the officials are opposed to it, but I feel it just reflects the current situation on the ground and in the event of possible change of use in the future, it allows for further employment, generating opportunities at that site.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can I have a seconder for that please? Sorry Joe, no seconder. Sorry, you are there, are you? Okay, there is a seconder, Cllr Thornhill. Agreed. No, I am just saying I am agreed we have a seconder. Don’t go ahead of me.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: No-one else is saying anything.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Can I ask that Cllr Behan may give an explanation of the site if possible please.
Cllr BEHAN: The site is a concrete products site basically. It’s there – there is a permitted use at this stage because of its longevity. It’s reality, it’s a factual reality on the ground at the moment. And I just feel that the zoning should reflect that. That’s all.
Cllr WINTERS: Chairman is there any possibility that the volume could be raised.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am having trouble. It is low.
Cllr BEHAN: Do you want me to say it again.
Cllr WINTERS: I heard you because I was here.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It’s nothing to do with me. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: I am not very keen on this particular zoning, as far as I know this site is way up high, it’s quite visible I think from the road. And it seems to be in a fairly remote area and not very good roads, so – I think in putting all these extra little bits in, we are making it more difficult to win against the Minister if he goes against the large sites which we have gone against the National Roads Authority in this, and I think we should concentrate on the large sites, or the ones in highly rural areas which have been mentioned, and I think it makes our task more difficult to get this approved by the higher authorities which keep telling us what to do.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Thank you Chairman. Just on clarification, obviously I and I know a lot of other Councillors would be supportive of that family business that’s on the site. And I suppose if it was being zoned from a Greenfield site it wouldn’t be, because of its detachment from any settlement. But could the planners just clarify the existing business can continue under its current arrangement and what the benefit of a zoning would be to the site. Does it only really come into play if the current prop brighter wants to change his business, or does the zoning really have any relevance because there is an existing business which can proceed as is? What is the relevance of zoning an existing business?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Thank you Cathaoirleach. Just to answer Cllr Fox first because he asked a direct question. I’ll be more like Joe Dolan now.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am just getting ready for the sermon.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: For those of you old enough to remember! No, it makes no effect, I think in planning speak and legal speak, it’s called a non conforming use. It means that it started out without permission, it wasn’t any enforcement taken on it and the statute of limitations means it can stay on, so it will have no effect. What you are proposing here is to change it from a concrete products yard to a light industrial and warehousing use which would change the impact a lot in the amount of vehicles going up and down to the yard and as you all know there, the road network is quite small. The other big difference is that it’s actually not just a zoning what was a worked out pit or quarry, it’s zoning about – looking at it just from a bird’s-eye view here, more than twice the extent of land and it’s going on to amenity land that would be have I very, very visible from everywhere and quite elevated land. That’s the difference between what’s there present and what’s proposed. To answer your question straight, there is no reason why the family business can’t continue or he can’t sell the business to someone else who can continue the business that’s there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Could I make a suggestion to Cllr Behan and reject this if he wishes, but after the County Development Plan process is finished, we are undertaking a Municipal District of Bray plan, and I know at the municipal meeting on the County Development Plan, there was a number of proposals around Kilmacanogue which we have deferred until the Municipal District zoning where we are going to – our plan, where we are going to do a plan for the whole Municipal District and it may be appropriate that this could be considered under that plan. Now Cllr Behan, you can reject that if you wish, but the other employment zonings around Kilmacanogue are being deferred until that plan has been undertaken, so I would make a suggestion that maybe that would be the appropriate time to consider this. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Can I just support that as well in the sense that there are a number of issues, a number of people have come to me from around Kilmacanogue and I have told them that the Bray Environs Plan which will take in Kilmacanogue as well, is going to be done directly after the Development Plan and it will be more appropriate for to discuss things like that in that so maybe if Cllr Behan wants to withdraw that and put it in that, that would be the more appropriate forum where the municipal authority would be dealing with this and then very shortly as well, so I think that’s probably the more appropriate place and it will be dealt with other issues within the area as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, could I have clarification from the officials about that because I would have thought if that was the problem, I would have been told it wasn’t relevant to this plan. So if it’s acceptable under the county development process, will it also be acceptable under the town or Municipal District. Is there not a boundary between the two?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cathaoirleach, and Cllr Behan, I think it was agreed, I think during the draft plan process, that we talked about, we were doing local area plans for say Wicklow and Arklow and the like but for the Bray one, it was actually discussed and suggest that had we might do a plan either for the whole Municipal District or to take in Enniskerry and Kilmacanogue as well in that plan. And I think my colleague here says we have accepted will do for the whole Municipal District. That’s the reason why it’s different to the Wicklow plan or the Blessington plan. That’s why the reason this particular area, why Kilmacanogue, as a Bray Municipal District, because Bray Municipal District is so small and the population is all centred on the eastern part of the area, it has been agreed by the members that we will do the Bray Environs Plan as a Bray district plan so that will in-corporate this land.
Cllr BEHAN: I’ll withdraw the amendment then.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We just have one there we have been handed out a copy of it there, to do with born bridge limited, you all got a copy of that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: In fairness this came in with the original submissions from – and when there are 15083 – 1583 submissions, there was an error that Cllr Snell was good enough to point out to us, so this hasn’t come in as a Councillor amendment as such. It has at this stage, but it wouldn’t normally have gone out first of all. That’s why I am saying this is the first time you have seen it, just to be fair.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Anyone want to comment on it. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: I just want to say that I would be against this. This is part of the Greystones Municipal District area, and on this site the Council spent ten years or more in court on enforcement actions against the uses, and I think this is one of these small separate sites. It’s not in any real settlement. And I think in putting these in, as I said before about the one in Killmurray, this will make it more difficult to get the larger ones which are more important to the county through the authorities who, as I say, keep telling us what to do, and I will be opposed to this. I think it’s not suitable in that location.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell.
Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach. Thanks for your time and thanks to the Planning Section in regards to their work so far on this draft County Development Plan. There is a huge body of works going on as we all know, and look at, human errors happen and we all have to accept that. Just in regards to this proposal here, I just want to point out that in regards to history and a long planning history, everything from two minutes ago was confined to history. We are being told by planners all the time that this is our plan, this is the members’ plan. And some people can’t distinguish the difference between zoning and planning permission. If you get a zoning, it doesn’t mean you automatically get planning permission, you have to still go through the planning process and the reason I am speaking on this today is because I know from experience that this site can work and has worked in the past in regards to employment, and that’s my primary function on speaking on this today, is employment. I find it ironic that members might support the Kilpedder interchange and yet be opposed to employment three miles down the road. And if I could just show a picture here Cathaoirleach, the picture here shows that we have just only 15 minutes ago supported three industrial units which are closer to the N11 and Cllr Matthews had an issue with supporting things close to the N11. Also is Henley’s furniture removal. The Council have their own depot, which is right beside the N11 and this site I am proposing here today to the members is further removed as we all know there is 100 metre boundary in regards to – from the N11. This had a history, as has been point the out, over eight years ago and I commend the former county planninger who at that time put this proposal to the members this Council for a material contravention to &nb regularise the site. 17 members supported it, six were opposed and one member was obviously not present on the day for the vote. Which is unfortunate. So it failed by one vote. But this is about now. It’s not about the past. It’s about now. And it’s about trying to incorporate and help employment in an area such as Newtownmountkennedy. Newtownmountkennedy currently can only provide for 25% of the working population in its immediate area. If everything came to fruition, which is in our County Development Plans, and our targets and objectives, only 38% of the working population in Newtown could work within the confines of their own area of the the ironic thing about thisf the members – unfortunately they can’t see the picture from here, but there is a factory on the Eastern end of this, which brings – we talk about the road network, it actually brings traffic up and across a flyover and down by what’s known as glen mill golf course. This proposal would actually only bring the units up by four residential houses, two of which are employees of this organisation, company. I feel that it’s time that people stopped living in the past. And again, this is not about personalities. It’s about trying to get the best plan possible to help employment, to get people in this general area, which we all know that Newtown is an expanding area. And it’s just unfortunate that some members don’t take it as seriously as others, by saying it’s in the Greystones electoral area. I couldn’t care less where it is, if it could create and help employment. And I’ll remind the members that this is a zoning. It’s a small section of the original site. And therefore zoning does not equal planning permission. People must adhere to planning permission and it has to go through the planning legislation. Therefore if there is people who are objecting to this, such as Cllr Mitchell, he can object during the normal planning procedure and he can take it to An Bord Pleanala. I really feel the members should support this and start afresh. Thanks Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Anyone else want to contribute? We need a proposer and seconder.
Cllr LAWLESS: I’ll second that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone in favour
Cllr MITCHELL: I am against.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I beg your pardon.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, just is this going out on public display?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If it’s passed it will so out on display. As do everything.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: If there was a significant amount of public opposition to this last time.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Would you press your button there Tommy please. We want to hear you.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: There was a lot of public concern about this the last time, and given that we have only really got it now this morning, and we really haven’t had time to really examine it, I think Cllr Snell has made some valid points there, but it is going out for public display, is that correct
CATHAOIRLEACH: Correct yes, if passed.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: If that happens, fair enough.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman, there is a long history on this, I supported actually the people that were on that site working a long number of years ago, I know it well. And it doesn’t matter if I got it late or not. I certainly would be supporting what Cllr Snell’s proposal is on this. It’s a lot less than what it was originally and I think it’s reasonable type of proposal if we want to generate a bit of employment in the country as well. So from my point of view, I’ll certainly be supporting it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Very briefly, the last occasion this came before us, we had a long debate with regards to it. My recollection is I supported it then, &nb but I did point out one of the biggest issues was the level of screening of the site from the N11. I hope maybe the screening has improved over that number of years, but certainly it was a site that employed an awful lot of people back then, it was probably unfortunate that it didn’t get the approval on that particular occasion. But I supported it then and I’ll support it today.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: Yeah, I would be in support of Cllr Snell’s, but I would also say to the other Councillors who maybe have questions, support at least let it go out on public display. It hasn’t happened already. We get to vote on this again, but I am in support of it. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Cullen, Shay Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: I too would like to add my support to this. Obviously I wasn’t involved in previous list of the site, butsI would be of the view that anything to create employment in the area is worth looking at. I think just regarding the screening, I have passed that site quite regularly and from what I can gather the screening has certainly grown quite substantially in the last eight years, so it’s – I think that hopefully will solve some of the issues that were around the site. And I too think that we are given the chance for the public to have their say, so by voting for this, it will put it on public display and I think that’s important. Thank you
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. As everyone is not in agreement, we have to take a vote and then if it’s passed, it goes out to public display for the public —
MS GALLAGHER: Proposed by Cllr Snell, seconded by Cllr Lawless.
(a vote was taken)
Cllr MATTHEWS: Chairman, are we voting to accept the Chief Executive’s response? Or we are voting to accept your proposal. Okay, I am against that Chairman. Thank you. (the vote continued)
MS GALLAGHER: 22 for, two against, six not present and two abstaining.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That completes that section. We are on to Councillor amendment number four, Councillor Jim Ruttle. A seconder for that please? Who is the seconder there. Christopher Fox. Cllr Fox.
Cllr RUTTLE: Yes Cathaoirleach, just to say that it represents a huge — the &nb proposal is without putt in by the family to secure the future. It was a huge tourism potential as well tied into the Blessington greenway project, which would travel under it and this general proposal from the family would advance this. However the proposal as submitted could have provided difficulties with zoning issues when it would go before the Minister and my amendment is the best way I feel to achieve the objective without the risk of objection which would leave the project without recognition in the County Development Plan. A huge heritage there going back hundreds of years. Great industry, building some of the finest public buildings in Ireland and indeed in the UK as well. Liverpool cathedral for instance. Huge tradition involving various families, and the main quarrying family over the heyday of that quarry would have been the Brady Osbournes, but 300 men were employed in that time. This is a proposal which is very good and hopefully in tandem with other tourism proposals we can over the years advance it and I am happy to propose it to be placed in the County Development Plan.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I would like to support the proposal. It is an area rich in natural heritage, and it’s also, I suppose, you could call it the heritage of a great skill. A stone worker skill, from the Ballyknockan quarries. I had relatives who were stone masons in that over 100 years ago, worked there. and I think it’s a good idea and it’s – I with a like to support – I would like to support it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Chief Executive has no objection to the proposal, are all the members in agreement? Okay.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Amendment number three?
CATHAOIRLEACH: We took amendment number three with four. That was linked in at the time
Cllr MATTHEWS: I would ask that we are accepting the recommended amendments, the wording, and then the extent of the site would be discussed under amendment 3. Did I not ask that?
Cllr WHITMORE: That was my understanding as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will go back to three again then sure. Cllr Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: Thanks Cathaoirleach, I think this proposed amendment &nb identifies and recognises the important role that the film industry (INAUDIBLE) to the zoning covers the area that’s proposed in the planning application that’s before the Council. And I would propose the amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do I have a seconder for that.
Cllr DUNNE: I’ll second that. CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: I totally agree with what Cllr Walsh said there, the film industry is a huge strategic importance to the county and we should support it in any way we can with the employment potential and tourist potential it provides for the county. How much as a planning authority, some concern has been expressed by the Chief Executive at the actual lands that have been proposed to extend. I know there has been a reduction and that’s been welcomed because it’s very important to keep control over such a large site. It’s 160 acre site, so you have to retain an element of control over it, but the chief has suggested there the lands North of Trinity lane being highly elevated over a wide area. Can somebody point out to me on that map where Trinity lane is. Oh yeah, okay, the lands North of that are very high elevation. Is there other lands, I just ask the proposer, is there other lands that would suit the needs of the film industry that could be incorporated there without getting into that highly elevated site? We want this to progress in a controlled manner, as you would with any large development, you would have phased probably from the centre out or from some fixed point out wards. Is there any other lands there you could suggest that may not be that highly elevated that would help with the concerns of the Chief Executive. Cllr WALSH: &nbs
MS GALLAGHER: The stenographer can’t hear people if they don’t speak into the mike.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Walsh, would you just turn your light on.
Cllr WALSH: These are the lands that have been identified as being suitable under the planning application that’s before the Council at the moment, these are the lands that are the subject of the application.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Chairman, can I also ask is the entire zone there in blue under the ownership of one owner or one &nb applicant?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Walsh is your light working or not working, you are not coming on to a microphone there. Your light is on, but – there was a question asked there Director.
Cllr WINTERS: Before that’s answered, can I just say something, I thought when we were doing the County Development Plan, we were not actually allowed look at land ownership or anything, so that question shouldn’t be allowed, we are not meant to know or make our decisions based on who does or doesn’t own land or what material effect it will have on an individual or a grouping and it’s meant to be on what’s good for the community so I don’t think we need to know who the land ownership is.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I agree with you.
Cllr MATTHEWS: The reason I just ask when you have such a large site like that in an area and you are going to zone it, if there was numerous landowners, you would put together, probably consider to be an action area, if there is only one owner, you don’t need to do that. My point is it is necessary to retain some control over this site. I just wanted to know is there better lands available for zoning? Obviously the idea is here at some stage to develop all this land for the film industry and that would be fantastic for tourism and for employment in the county and nobody is arguing with that. I am just wondering is there more suitable lands that are not of an elevated height that would be more suitable to phased development?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cathaoirleach, there is lands on zoned employment in the demonstrator Wicklow area, which are suitable for film studios. And I think what the members are probably promoting here is that this person has a track record and is probably in a position to carry out the development. And he has even talked about carrying on further phases of development. I am presuming that’s what the rational behind this is. It is one landowner’s land, yeah, all of that land was zoned as one landowner’s land. I accept Cllr Winters’ point that it’s not relevant to the planning but it is actually a fact. There could be better sites available within the holding but we weren’t involved in picking the sites.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Okay Chairman I don’t have any problem with this amendment
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone agreed?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Amendment number four is it – five. Proposed by Cllr Blake on behalf of the planning SPC. Could I have a seconder please?
Cllr MATTHEWS: Second
CATHAOIRLEACH: Who seconded it
MS GALLAGHER: Cllr Matthews.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone in agreement? Councillor amendment number six, Cllr Matthews, proposed by – could I have a seconder there please.
Cllr VANCE: I’ll second that Chairman. You want to say something.
Cllr MATTHEWS: —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is everyone is in agreement? Everyone is in agreement? Amendment seven, is she here Grainne? This is the one you are concerned about Councillor amendment number seven proposed by Cllr McLoughlin and seconded by Councillor Gerry Walsh.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I don’t think at this stage we need to go into too much detail at this stage. I know everybody around the table has received a lot of information about it. We feel we have given a comprehensive definition of what constitutes a fast food outlet, and we have included the word primarily, and this should help to differentiate between businesses such as spar and Centra. There was a lot of concern about were we going after the likes of spars and the Centras of this world. And we are not. We are really all saying is we do not want large fast food organisations situated outside the front doors of schools and playgrounds. I know a lot of people around the table here feel well surely it’s a parental decision and it’s nothing to do with us as planners. Unfortunately as legislators of which we play a small part, we have a responsibility to ensure the safety, the health and welfare of our children, and just because they aren’t our own personal children, they are the children of the county and let Wicklow start a precedent, so that the – all planners will ensure that there are no fast food out- main fast food outlets outside the front doors of schools. It’s just not acceptable. I am asking everybody would they please support, so I am proposing this amendment, and I look forward to it being carried if at all possible.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Walsh, you are seconding it.
Cllr WALSH: I’ll second that proposal. There is a misconception going back a number of months, Greystones was against fast food outlets or McDonald’s or anybody else coming to the area. That’s a misconception —
Cllr WINTERS: Can you switch on his mike.
Cllr WALSH: In the vicinity of schools, we are all aware of the obesity crisis that’s affecting our country. This is just one small step. It’s been adopted in other counties towards addressing that health issue, it has huge implications on our Health Service, we are topping the charts European wise with this particular issue, so I think we as a Council by passing this motion will make the point that we are serious about addressing this problem for our future generations.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Thank you Chairman. I totally oppose this. And there is a number of reasons: I think it’s the parents’ responsibility. We are not here to legislate for what parents do. We are not a nanny state. And where does this stop? If this starts, where does this end in regard to making all sorts of laws in regard to people telling people how – what their children can do, what their children can’t do. There is a fast food outlet in the middle of Bray, McDonald’s which started all this problem in the first place. There is about 2,000 school children within a few hundred yards of that. I have never had one complaint from anyone in regard to that. And I don’t see hundreds of kids going in there. It’s – like it’s the parents’ responsibility what their children do. And I don’t think it’s the responsibility of planners, or us, as Councillors to dictate to people irrespective of obesity or not. Obesity is there, and it’s up to parents to deal with it on their particular level. And in regard to this, where does this end? Because very close you will find to schools, you will have supermarkets that will have drinks in there, and the sugar content of drinks is way worse than anything that you get in a fast food joitlet. Where do we stop in regard to this? On principle, I don’t think this is a planning matter. I think responsibility for behaviour of children is the parents’ responsibility. I don’t think we have any rights to take that away from parents in any shape or form. And just on that principle objection, I would totally oppose this if Greystones Councillors want to have it in their own area, I don’t have a problem with that, but I don’t think it should be foisted on the county of Wicklow and everyone else. As I said, there is a fast food outlets that exist in Bray, and I am not a great advocate for them in any shape or form, but they exist. One of them as I saids, there is 2,000 school kids around and I have never had any complaints from T Bray is the biggest area in the county. Over 30,000 people. I have had one letter from one resident in Bray in regard to this issue. One letter. That’s how much interest there is I believe as well. And I go back to say it’s parents’ responsibility and their behaviour of the kids and I think we should leave it with that then.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters. Thank you.
Cllr WINTERS: Thanks Cathaoirleach. I see merit in both sides but I just don’t know that this will actually achieve anything. I am also interested in Cllr Walsh’s point that he said that this has been adoptedin other counties N all of the correspondence that I have got from the people in the no fry zone, they’ve just said to me let Wicklow lead the way. I wasn’t aware it was anywhere else. And I think that’s – certainly it was let Wicklow lead the way is what I have been getting in all of the stuff that I have. Whatever about 400 metres from a school, I think 400 metres from a playground, playgrounds are primarily used by small children, but they are, say if you go out to Ashford, they’re in the middle of the town, like they’re at the edges of towns in Newtownmountkennedy. I think it’s going to become so restrictive. Yet, if you go over to Kilcoole as I was recently at the school, and you walk the 800 metres, because I clocked it in the car just to see exactly what it was, up it the centre that’s up there, it’s packed at lunchtime, they sell slices of pizza, wedges, sausages, rashers, everything, cream buns. There is just – it is a full shop that’s absolutely packed out with people buying their lunches of all of the type of food that we don’t particularly or that we are saying we don’t particularly want children to eat. Parents obviously give them money to buy that food. So where I can see the merit of not having it near a schoolyard, I really think to put in playgrounds is fine in grey stones where they have loads of amenity space, but if you go down say to the likes of Carnew, there is actually a fast food outlet within 400 metres, it’s not a big, it’s not a McDonald’s, but it is a fast food outlet that’s within 400 metres of the school. It’s also in the middle of a town centre. I mean do you know, it’s going to be so piecemeal and picky, that it’s actually going to account for nothing. So I have my doubts that this is the way to go. It’s more about education and parents’ control than us deciding that 400 metres. Anyway if we say 400 metres, they’ll just build it 450 metres, that 50 metres won’t make any difference to kids that want to go there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Could I let the Director in.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just to clarify, because the Chief Executive had proposed on page 34 of this sized document, the Chief Executive had proposed an amendment to this as well based on the department’s guidance. It wasn’t a matter of accepting or rejecting this Councillor’s amendment number seven. It was actually you can accept or reject this or accept the Chief Executive’s one as well which you will see on page 34. Just for clarification.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, Cllr Kavanagh.
Cllr KAVANAGH: I just want to just make a couple of points. First of all, to say that parents are always the best example to their children I think would be a bit of a generalisation, some of the parents themselves suffer from obesity and they don’t necessarily pass on good dietary habits to their children. We have an obesity and a diabetes pandemic in the world at the moment. It’s going to get worse and down the line, our Health Service is going to be at crisis point trying to deal with it. By bringing in this, it’s not saying that these fast food outlets can’t open in an area, it’s just saying that it makes it a little bit harder for children to get to it if they have to go a little bit further. So it might actually affect their eating habits. It might influence them to change their eating habits to healthier diet. I think even if it is the first run one in the country, I think it would be wonderful to see that we were leading the way and trying to deal with this terrible problem which I really don’t think anybody has an idea how big it’s going to become in – down the line. So I would like to support it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, yeah, some years ago back in the 90s on the health board, I made a proposal that we – that the schools would start giving children of difficult families and drug addicts’ children, a breakfast in the morning and some food, because I said it was very unfair that those children were coming into school and didn’t even know if they had anything to eat. And at the time, a number of pilot schemes took away and it has turned out to be a great success for a number of the schools have breakfast clubs. That started all off in the 90s through the health board and it turned out to be a wonderful success where children were getting properly fed from deprived backgrounds, getting at least a breakfast and a bit of lunch. I look at this, and I don’t necessarily look at what goes on outside the school gates. I want to look at what’s going on inside the school gates. Now in the UK, going back since the 19 – late 1920s, they have a regime of school meals, school canteens. And that’s still going very strong. That means children don’t have to go out of the school gates to get hot food. They have the canteens all in the campus of the schools. And I think that’s what we should be encouraging. We should be encouraging the department to grant aid national and secondary schools with the funding to set up internal canteens, restaurants, for the children in the schools, that they can sit down, have a breakfast or have a lunch at a reasonable cost to the parents, probably a lot cheaper than it would be going outside to the fast food outlets. And that would – that’s the norm in virtually every EU country, except Ireland. And I think we should look in this, apart from what’s going on outside the school gates, we should be encouraging schools and the departmen Department of the Environment to fund assist a children facilities internally in schools to give children the breakfast if they so wish or at least a lunch. That would solve most of this problem of children and have obviously – that would be under the guidance of the Department of Health, the various – what the diets would be, and what food would be served in these canteens. But I think that’s the line that I would like to see in some way incorporated in this amendment, that we would introduce as a right for every child to have – be guaranteed at least the breakfast and a lunch by the Department of Education in our schools and I think if we done that, we would do away with most of children having to go out to get these fast food outlets. I do think – and I think – I don’t think parents would mind instead of giving them pocket money to the kids, that it would make a small contribution to help fund this say in the schools. But the department must step up. It’s a health issue. But children study better when they’re fed properly. And if they get a proper diet internally in the schools, most schools in this country have the facilities to provide – if they wantf they’re assisted by the department, canteens, but I think we should roll out a national healthy food programme in our schools, and we shouldn’t be just saying to children, we will go down the road a few hundred yards. Go down the road 450 yards and you can get a burger but don’t go down the road 400 yards. That’s not going to solve the problem. I think we should look about introducing and encouraging the schools to provide healthy meals internally in the schools by the process, like they do in the UK and everywhere in western Europe, that’s the solution to what’s going on.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Whitmore, can I remind members there, I might have been a bit lenient, it’s two minutes we agreed, three minutes wast I was trying to get away with two.
Cllr WHITMORE: A long two! Chair, I whole heart dally support this amendment, it’s gone in on behalf of &nb Greystones Municipal District and it’s something we have been working on for a significant time with the very concerned group of residents within the area. I would just like to come back to some of the points that were made by people. This amendment will not affect existing fast food outlets and it will also not affect town centre areas. It will omit areas considered been the town centre so that impact will not be felt as was expressed by some of the Councillors here. Cllr Vance, I understand that there are quite a significant number of school children in the Bray area that would be very close to fast food outlets and perhaps you haven’t received any complaints, but it is a national fact that a quarter of our children are overweight or obese, so as a State, what we are doing, it is not working, and it is something that we will pay for in the years to come. We will have huge costs, health costs, social costs associated with this and we can see them now. Perhaps maybe in the more affluent areas of our country, it’s not as evident. But it is certainly there and it’s a growing concern in the western world. And I think as – we can actually be leaders in this and be proactive and actually address this and take a front foot with it. The distance of 400 metres, this is something that’s done in the UK, it’s been done with some success over there and that distance was taken because it is the length of time that I think it’s a five minutes walk, is that correct Grainne, that the children will not, they won’t have enough time to walk beyond that at lunchtime to visit a fast food outlet. There is rational behind that distance and that’s why that was included in the amendment. With regard to it being an issue of parental responsibility, something that is as complex as this, it’s not something that can just be addressed by one measure. So yes we do need education, we do need education in schools, we need he had case at home. We do need the parents to be on board but as Cllr Kavanagh said, some parents are not in a position to provide that assistance and that support, and in lieu of that, as a State, I think we need to provide a level of protection to all the children to ensure we give them the start in life that will allow them to reach their potential and to be the best and thettiest adults that they possibly can. In the same way we do not allow smoking around playgrounds, we do have to afford children a certain level of protection in this regard. I suppose I’ll finish off by saying that communities rare children. It’s not just individual families. Really it is a community effort, and that children are influenced by everything they see, every person they meet, every interaction they have, and so as a Council I think it is important that we ensure that those interactions are the healthiest and the most supportive that we can do and that we have control over, so I would ask that our fellow Councillors support us on this motion, I think it’s an important one and I think it will set Wicklow aside as a leader in this debate and proactive and supportive of our communities.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Nolan. Cllthree minutes.
Cllr NOLAN: I’ll keep it as brief as I can Cathaoirleach, thank you. I just want to say that my feelings on this no fry zone, that was a very quick three minutes Cathaoirleach! &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am just letting you know! You are back on.
Cllr NOLAN: My feelings on this have changed a lot over the time. When it was initially put forward, I did support it, I felt it was a good thing but as time has gone on, I like Cllr Winters and Cllr Vance, I now ammo pose today T I’ll say that the site in Greystones that was proposed for the development of McDonald’s was inappropriate. But not for the reasons that were given. It was very inappropriate in terms of traffic and in terms of the congestion. But the health issues, I again, would be really some what libertarian on the subject believing that children particularly primary school children, I didn’t realise McDonald’s were giving out free happy meals and everything, because if the primary school children are going into McDonald’s and buying food there, they’re getting the money from one place and one place only and that’s their parents and there is parental responsibility to educate your children. I know maybe some parents aren’t in the position to do that, but the vast majority are and they should educate their children properly. Just also on the issue of around Greystones, I didn’t attend school in Greystones but many of my friends did, they went to St David’s in Greystones and it was almost a daily thing that they’d walk from the school up to the Main Street to any of the litany of fast food outlets that are there already, and so I don’t really see what this proposal will accomplish. It simply will not address the problems. I think we are as Cllr Vance has said moving towards a nanny State situation, which I don’t agree with. And I feel it is more up to the parents and more up to educators to let children know the hazards that come with fast food and to also – kids aren’t in jobs or in gainful employment F they’re getting money to purchase this food it’s coming from one place and one place only, and that’s their parents. Parents should make sure, see what your children are spending their money on. It’s their responsibility. Once the child hits 18, they’re an adult, work away, until then it’s the parents’ responsibility, end of, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor O’Connor, follow loads by Cllr Lawless.
Cllr O’CONNOR: I very much welcome most of what Cllr Cullen said about this issue, I think school meals are particularly important way that might be a way of addressing this in the future. However I do think this amendment is also very important. The State requires people to do all sorts of things, their children are required to go to school, that’s enforced by the State. The State requires us to wear seat belts in cars. That’s enforced by the State. And the State in general requires us to look after the welfare of our children. All of these so-called intrusions into the welfare of people are not examples of the State acting as a so-called nanny. That term is always used by people who are trying to stop the State intervening to protect the welfare of its citizens. I think it’s absolutely vital that the State step in in a lot of circumstances to protect people’s rights, because who else is going to do it if they don’t? I would ask all of the Councillors here present to support this very important amendment, thanks.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cheryl Lawless, followed by Cllr Snell.
Cllr LAWLESS: Thank you Cathaoirleach. Again, like some of the other Councillors here, I support this and have supported it from the very start. And you know, I do reject that this amendment is making it look like it’s nanny state. It’s not. We are not telling people don’t bring your children to certain fast food outlets. If you want to bring your children to fast food outlets, go ahead and do it. we are not saying no to T what we are doing is, we are preventing it sitting more or less in the playgrounds of schools, because I mean McDonald’s in Greystones was 35 metres away from a school gate. I mean it’s just crazy stuff. And the thing is, Ireland is a fastly becoming one of the most obese countries in Europe and we have to look ahead to the future, we have to look to the impact of our already overburdened HSE. We have had numerous support from health associations from the Irish Heart Foundation, from various peoples in Trinity, UCD, Galway. This is an extremely important amendment, piece that’s here today, and so much so, I actually brought it up in our own Ard Fheis, and our own party have accepted this on principle, that we would look for no fry zones. Dublin City Council has voted and passed this. Wexford as far as I know have passed it as well and Fingal South County Council are also in the process of it, and Cork city. So this is something that’s nationwide. It’s not just in Greystones. And as well, like I mean, it’s just good planning, it’s forward planning. 400 metres, okay, it doesn’t sound an awful lot, but they have to walk that 400 metres and walk it back, there is a bit of exercise. Provide good pathways and cycleways for the kids. It’s all part of a combination of stuff to help our children and to make sure we don’t become a nation of obese people. So I would ask the Councillors here to support this today.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Cllr Snell, then Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr SNELL: Obviously there is lots of social issues attached to this as well as moral issues, and I think most of the members have spoken on that aspect to T I would like to primarily just focus on the amendment as it is. I fully appreciate that the members in Greystones, where they’re coming from, but I do believe that this was a Greystones issue, triggered by the application for a fast food outlet quite close to a school there. I am actually amazed that it’s here as part of our draft County Development Plan, because if I could just highlight the fact, and I don’t think enough people have spoken about this, that you know, 400 metres is three and a half lengths of a football pitch. So we have three and a half football pitches and it doesn’t distinguish between the gates, because it says here the gates and also the boundary, the boundary of a school incorporates the whole circumference and if you put that sort of distance right around, for example, where we sit here, right up towards the tennis courts, in Wicklow Town, everything in between is excluded from opening a premises. We know that towns and villages are suffering. And I don’t agree with one previous speaker where it will just make things more difficult to open up fast food outlets or shops that serve hot food. If this amendment is passed here, it will stop them opening, because it quite clearly says here they want to exclude any new fast food or takeaway outlets, and I know in rural areas in particular, there is shops closed and if someone wants to open up a shop that sells rolls and whether it be a Deli counter, they’ll be excluded under this current proposal here. I believe this should have stayed and remained in the Greystones Local Area Plan, because I believe that it affects Greystones. I think that this is a dangerous, dangerous amendment to propose for County Wicklow and I don’t think all the members have really looked into this. Like 400 metres, there is no-one here going to throw a stone 400 metres, I’ll put it to you that way. This is excluding vast areas and particularly when you incorporate playgrounds, we have an SPC here who are trying very, very hard and we only had it on the ageneraled earlier where Cllr Fortune ^^ proposed the playground going ahead in Kilcoole. The SPC will have to go and actively pursue sites that don’t impinge on this 4450 metres. I am he posed to it in its current format. ^^ I understand the Greystones municipal have lobbied very, very hard on it, I would ask them to put it back to the local area
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: We do have as we have all been stating, a major obesity problem with children, nationally everybody, but with a high proportion of children where it’s particularly serious as they go into later life, they’ll develop all sorts of diseases which were movement rarer – much rarer when I was a child. I think we should try and not to make it worse and we should pass this resolution to ensure – my particular concern is these organisations and fast food restaurants, they make a point of market to go children at their school and I think that that will make the situation considerably worse. And while there is lots of food around the place, much of it unhealthy, it’s not – I think we should try and keep it out of the school environment as much as possible. There certainly is a major case for education if which are standard set being the health of food and for information. And to persuade parents to control their children more, certainly I didn’t allow my children to have fast food on a frequent basis and I do think more people need to adopt that attitude. But in particular – in this case, I support this, because allowing these large restaurants which target children close to schools is only going to make a situation which we already have a problem, worse.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Cllr O’Brien. Cllr Fortune after.
Cllr O’Brien: I feel you are getting rid of people’s ability to make a choice of themselves. I know Woody Allen would totally agree with this amendment. He spent his life, he was living on nuts and rice cakes and cereal and all the different bits and pieces that you do like that and he died a young man like that and he came back years later and he looked in at all the people, he saw all the people that were eating burgers and drinking this and that and the other and they were actually enjoying themselves and having absolutely great fun. I think there is a questioning there about the whole thing about fat in food. If you go to Finland, you need quite a bit of fat in your diet to survive there. There is an exercise thinks thing that needs to be looked into there and I was very interested in what Cllr Cullen was saying about children being fed properly and exercised properly A I would be more interested in devoting our time towards that. I always felt if children were treated equally from the time they grew up, we would have a perfect country, but they’re not. You go into school, and many of the children will come hungry into that school and what they’d do to eat a burger. I think we have to get real here lads, there is a major problem here that we need to start treating our children equally, look more towards the schools and bring in the dinners where all children are fed and nourished properly and we can develop this country properly. I see the problems in school, children are not equal and often not performing in school. The major problem here is that. I would agree also with what Cllr Vance says as well, maybe if that’s the way Greystones wants to go, it’s Greystones issue, I don’t think it should be brought up before us here. There are other problems there, if you have a village there or a fast food thing 100 metres down, I think it stifles development. Freedom of choice is very, very important for people and I think the whole thing about obesity is a problem that needs to be addressed through exercise. And other issues as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: Thanks Cathaoirleach. As has been said by the other members from the Greystones district, this is a combined submission from all of us, but the point I want to make in saying all that is this has taken months and months and months of discussion, with everyone involved and everyone concerned and listening to experts before it was submitted. And basically, we are here today looking at our County Development Plan, and the key function of that is looking at land use going forward for the next six years for example. We can only change the future. We are not looking agent changing the past. We are not looking at what’s happened. What’s happened has happened. I would contend that it is the responsibility of good planning to make decisions like this. As I said the motion excludes town centres, there is no need to get involved in that but it is a planning matter going forward and any health expert, anything you read, anyone you listen to will say that obesity and everything associated around that area is getting worse and worse and worse. So it’s vital that people take this serious, and as Cllr Lawless has already said, there is a number of local authorities around the country already making decisions on this. and of course it’s about education. I would agree with that. But it’s also about the planning, and how we support people’s lifestyle. This I believe would be a very mature decision looking forward. It would be very similar to what happened with the smoking ban and I think it’s in that kind of context as well. So support for this particular amendment is very, very important. And as Councillor Conor also said, the State gets involved in all aspects of people’s lives, many, many areas, and what’s happening here through Europe and back into our own country, through all the health experts, this has been advocated over and over and over again, and as I say, as a result of a lot of discussion in our own area, we are putting this forward and I just think this would be a very mature decision on behalf of the County Development Plan to include this in our plan going forward.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Thank you Chairman, I’ll be very brief, I know there has been a lot talking. Just in relation to what Cllr Nolan has said in particular and parental responsibility, I would agree 100%, but I suppose when you actually look at the wording of the amendment, I mean, it’s more than just a burger and chips that’s high in fat, salt or sugar. I mean that covers a huge – even some foods that we would consider good for us. I mean dairy products in particular are, I know it’s not a hot food, but they’re high in fat, but would be considered good for children. And their development. But I have compared what’s been proposed by Cllr McLoughlin and the other Greystones Councillors and actually what the Chief Executive has said and I know the Director has touched on it, but I think actually what the Chief Executive’s report and the wording of it, is much more pragmatic and practical and is a good compromise that it would give careful consideration to the location of fast food outlets, and deal with it on a case by case basis. Now to me, that’s a much more sensible and pragmatic policy for going forward, because one size doesn’t fitted all. I mean Greystones and Bray have quite large town centres, other rural towns pretty much have a Main Street. So one size does not fit all in this case and I think if we give the planners the discretion to use a case by case basis on the basis that it will give careful consideration, I think that’s a much more practical way of proceeding. Thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Thank you Chairman. I am sure the Greystones Councillors mean well here today in looking after the children not just from Greystones and the whole county and we appreciate that aspect of it. I would remind the members here that some of our sugary drinks, our small drinks have up to eight spoons of sugar in them. There was also mention about Carnew and we are looking for to build a new secondary school in Carnew for the last number of years A lot of progress has been made and hopefully over the next short-term, we will get a new school in Carnew. We are conscious of the fact that that school where it’s being built is in very close proximity to a number of fast food outlets at the moment. So I would hate to see the department giving us some grief regards our application Fr a new secondary school in Carnew in that regard. And if Cllr Fox, on page as the direct said there, on page 34 amendment number 20 and as Cllr Fox has said there, it’s probably a far more realistic proposal and probably covers an awful lot of the aspects in regards to T and if Cllr Fox is actually proposing that we adopt amendment number 20 of the Manager’s, Chief Executive’s report, I would second that proposal. Thanks Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: &nbs Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, I would just like to say I am supporting the proposal from the Greystones Area Councillors, I think it’s a very important statement of principle for us. Obviously no-one is excluding the role of parents and parental responsibility in all of these decisions but I think it’s a decision that in fact I think would make it a little bit easier for parents maybe sometimes when they have that struggle with children who want to go into the outlet might be. On a general point, I would agree with Cllr Cullen and Cllr O’Brien and others that the whole area of school meals is one that we should certainly be encouraging. We have had it in our own school for many years. It’s been very, very successful. Unfortunately, not every school is given the funding for those type of initiatives and perhaps it’s something we could consider at some stage in the future, whether we either encourage a grant scheme or encourage the Government to provide a grant scheme for all schools to provide at very minimum a breakfast club, if not a breakfast and a lunch club for children, for all children, but particularly children who may not be getting a proper breakfast before they come to school every day. But I am supporting the proposal Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. Did you get a seconder Cllr Fox.
Cllr BLAKE: I seconded him.
CATHAOIRLEACH: So I mean at this stage, we have to take a vote on the proposed amendment is not to accept the CE recommended amendment number 20, so if we don’t accept it, we are accepting the amendment, this proposal from the Chief Executive, which is on page 34.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: You are accepting my amendment.
Cllr VANCE: We want to know exactly what we are voting on now.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The proposed amendment is not to accept the Chief Executive’s recommended amendment number 20. On page 34.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Are we not proposing the amendment number seven to make it easier for everybody.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Well if it makes it simpler.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Does that make it easier for everybody.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Amendment 7 is to not accept the CE’s recommended amendment number 20, we all know what it is.
Cllr WINTERS: But if we don’t accept number seven, we then get to vote on number 20 later.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Well you are accepting number 20, are you not? We can vote on it later. We are going to accept number amendment number seven. I was saying the proposed amendment is not to accept the CE’s recommended amendment number 20.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: But to include the wording of number seven.
Cllr SNELL: Should we not be taking amendment number 20 first.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That’s exactly what I said, but then you are not accepting number seven.
Cllr WHITMORE: Vote on seven.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We can go ahead and vote on number seven.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I think it’s really important, you are saying that what we are voting on now is to not accept the CE’s recommendation amendment number 20 and I am saying to amend (INAUDIBLE).
CATHAOIRLEACH: Yes, right.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Let’s just clarify that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Page 13 on your yellow document.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Does someone else want to speak there. Gerry.
Cllr WALSH: Just on Cllr Blake’s point in relation to the school, this is for new fast food outletst would not impact on the location of a new school. New fast food outlets.
Cllr SNELL: It could be used against the new school by an objector, because it’s in the County Development Plan. It could be used to the Department of Education to stop a school.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: No it couldn’t.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just a second please, just – that’s another issue. Hello, excuse me, excuse me please, less tittle tattle there. Can we just go ahead and vote on number amendment number seven. We are for or against.
(a vote was taken).
Cllr ANNESLEY: I don’t like being first. I have never abstained from a vote in my me life. I am totally confused. I am going to support consider Loughlin and Councillor wall’s amendment, so I am voting for, on the recommendation of Cllr Matthews, I am voting against.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Hold on a minute, if you are supporting it, you are voting for amendment seven. Tommy, you have ate too many burgers at the weekend! So that’s the story. So you are voting for amendment seven.
Cllr ANNESLEY: Just clarifying I am voting for. (the vote continued)
MS GALLAGHER: That’s 18 for, 12 against and two not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. I won’t be dropping off in Greystones on my way to Dublin! &nbs
Cllr MITCHELL: You never did anyway! &nbs
Cllr VANCE: Come into Bray like they all from Greystones do.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will queue in Bray, or come to Arklow! Is that okay? Members, could we go ahead please, because there are a lot of people getting hungry here. We are moving on now to Councillor amendment number eight and that’s Councillor Jim Ruttle. A seconder please. Cllr Fox.
Cllr RUTTLE: I am proposing (can’t hear) anyone who is prepared to establish tourism accommodation is to be supported.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All in favour? Amendment number – Councillor amendment proposed by Councillor Shay Cullen and seconded by myself.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Chairman, as we were aware, there was a proposal for this land particularly in Ballinahinch first of all that I am talking about, where residential housing for these lands was submitted through public submissions, but this – since then has been withdrawn so I would propose that this land would remain existing tourism zoning, which is in the current &nb plan. – Development Plan. It’s a approximately 22 hectare site that has been granted planning permission in the past for a large tourist resort. So look at, for those reasons, I would be proposeingthat the Ballinahinch lower, Newtownmountkennedy would remain for tourism and recreational zoning.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am just coming in here on Jack Whites cross. There has been plans there and it was in the previous Development Plan, and I know there are further plans there. There might be other issues there but it’s not a planning issue, or it is a planning issue, and I just obviously I am quite well aware that the proprietor of the Jack Whites wants to go ahead. He sees some employment there and he is looking to link in with Brittas Bay. On that basis I am proposing that that be left in the plan. Ms WALSH: Thank you Cathaoirleach. It’s just to clarify one matter with regard to Ballinahinch lower in Newtownmountkennedy. In the current County Development Plan, there is a large block of development land there for tourism, 20 hectares. In the current draft County Development Plan, it was proposed to keep most of that for residential development and keep two hectares for tourism. The proposal we were led to believe was being tabled today was just to retain the two and a half hectares of tourism on the Ballinahinch lands and leave the other 18 hectares unzoned which is the land that some of the members wanted to be considered for residential development in the next Newtownmountkennedy Local Area Plan. The proposal that we were led to believe was not to change all this land back to tourism, but only to change part of it, that’s around the GAA, to tourism. So I just want to clarify the exact nature of the proposal from Cllr Cullen if that’s possible, so we can have the maps ready for you.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: It’s my understanding that the complete residential zoning has been withdrawn, so I would be proposing that the full amount of land would be retained as tourism zoning that already has been retained as tourism, hopefully that clarifies.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Murphy.
Cllr MURPHY: I would just like to second – comment on the Jack Whites proposal. We are lacking tourists attractions in around down South and I think this is an ideal opportunity to improve our towns beside it as well, like Arklow and Wicklow as well. So I would consider this.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks Councillor. Cllr Nolan.
Cllr NOLAN: I would just like to concur with Cllr Cullen and obviously some of the lands up there will be looked at hopefully, I am not saying they will be, but hopefully, I’ll certainly be attempting to get them looked at in the Newtown Local Area Plan but at the moment I would like to concur with Cllr Cullen and that the zoning be retained in the County Development Plan and then going forward we can consider boundaries and zoning in the Newtown plan. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. No-one else willing to speak? Is it agreed, what’s proposed? The next one is Council amendment number ten, proposed by Pat Doran and seconded by Councillor Blake. Cllr DORAN: It gives me pleasure to propose the extension of land for a nursing home in Carnew. It’s, the if you twaim which care centre —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I think that’s your next amendment, this is the one on –
Cllr DORAN: Sorry about that. Which one are we on then.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Number ten.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Page 17. It’s the wording of T and the Chief Executive has no objection. Cllr BLAKE: I’ll second that anyway. Cllr DORAN: Proposed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: A seconder is Cllr Blake. Cllr DORAN: Thank you very much for the help.
Cllr DORAN: And we won’t have any chippers.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor amendment number eleven, proposed by Shay Cullen, seconded by myself here. Cllr Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Just with regards to Ballinahinch lower Newtownmountkennedy, employment residential care facility zoning to remain on Ballinahinch and also on call I can ka Bawn in Kilpedder. ^^ both these sites are at an advanced stage in planning applications which should be due in the next few months so I am proposing to leave these, both of these zoned community care, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can I have a seconder for that, I am down as second myself, but my interest was in —
Cllr NOLAN: I’ll second it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Nolan has seconded it. Anyone any problems with that? I take it it’s okay. Agreed. Councillor amendment number 12, this is the one for us all here. Proposed by Cllr Mitchell and seconded by Councillor Shay Cullen. Cllr Mitchell?
Cllr MITCHELL: Thank you Cathaoirleach. Yeah, this is is a specific objective to provide a walking and cycling track from the kid pedestrianer industrial zone which we have rezoned earlier to the overbridge and I put it in as a main objective in the count. Normally one wouldn’t put footpaths in, but this is not – may not necessarily be beside the road like a normal footpath. If we are – I think it’s very important to join Greystones to Kilpedder for walking and cycling, it’s five kilometres of cycling path already. There is a pedestrian foot bridge put there at great expense by the NRA, and I want to – I would like to see this as an objective in the County Development Plan that we connect this and it will also connect to the bus roots which are the far side of that bridge. And it would also assist in any land purchase that’s needed to do this.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Christopher Fox.
Cllr FOX: Thank you Chairman. While I acknowledge Cllr Mitchell’s looking for a path in Greystones, we all have requests for footpaths around the county, and in our own areas. And my understanding is that there was a strategic plan to identify individual footpaths should then we all be putting in our own – I know Cllr Nolan has been looking for a footpath to the Newtown GAA club, and in my own area, we have been looking for footpaths as well. So I am surprised that we would be putting in an individual request in the Greystones area, so on that basis, I would be voting against this.
Cllr MITCHELL: Could I come back.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can I seek clarification.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cllr Mitchell mentioned this was a cycleway and pedestrian link but the actual amendment that’s printed up is only for pedestrian link. That’s the only clarification.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: I think it can be both. This is quite different to putting a &nb footpath beside a normal road where it just goes on the verge. It will be necessary to obtain some land for this, the foot bridge is only connected in one direction, the South direction at Kilpedder, and in order to connect it in the North direction here, it will be necessary to acquire some land. And it is quite different to a normal footpath. It’s quite short, but it will actually need a significant amount of work to do this. And I think to get that land developed, it’s also important that we have – which is a very large industrial site we have rezoned earlier, it’s important we have a connection to the bus routes and I think this is important for it. I’ll see it as quite different to a normal bit of footpath.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell?
Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach, again alarm bells will always ring when I would see the word unfair, and in the Chief Executive’s response here it states that it would be unfair to list this in comparison to – if we go down this road, I think we are going to have a horrid time here in regards to compiling the next County Development Plan, because this is something that should be done through the local Municipal District. It should be done through the SPC, and I think if we start putting in a wish list in regards to footpaths, now while I accept it is an important piece of infrastructure and I concur with Cllr Mitchell on that, I don’t think this is the right format to bring it through. I think we are itemising stuff now down to the very small issues, such as footpaths. It’s no – it has no place in the draft County Development Plan, and I feel that there is other avenues opening to the councillor to take this. I just feel that it is unfair on all other Municipal Districts, and you know, I certainly, I don’t want to be looking at the likes of this put into the plan. I think it’s ridiculous. Thanks Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks. Cllr Vance?
Cllr VANCE: Chairman just on that, I totally agree with what Cllr Snell is saying in that. We could all do this in all our areas, and I really don’t think it’s desirable that we get down to the nitty-gritty like this in regard to a Development Plan. I think it’s &nb desire by the way, what Cllr Mitchell is suggesting is desirable, but I think it should be handled in the municipal authority in Greystones, like what Cllr Snell said. If we get down to this detail, I along with every other Councillor in the place can put in footpaths and cycle paths all over the place. Really and truly I don’t think a Development Plan is the area where we should be doing this. It’s in the municipal areas that we should be getting the policy in regard to this area and I totally agree with that and I just don’t think it’s desirable at this stage to have this in a Development Plan. Everyone, there is not a member of this Council that couldn’t put in a number these issues as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Chief Executive wants to come in.
CE: Thank you Cathaoirleach. Just I explained fairly clearly in my response to this particular matter, that I do think it would be unfair. We did adjourn or postpone the discussion on our capital programme, our three year capital programme, and I think it’s prop rat that any such proposals are considered in the context of the capital programme and also having regard to the fundingthat might be available, both internal resources of the County Council and possibly departmental funding. So I think it would be more appropriate in that scenario.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman. I take the advice of the Chief Executive that actually to itemise a footpath between two areas is getting down to Local Area Planning. But if it’s something along the lines to improve &nb permeability between two locations in terms of pedestrian and cycleways, then we would be looking at a land use that would be consistent with NTA and would also help with the zoning that we have put out there as well, to make it more accessible rather than car dependent. Could we look at it something along the lines of that, rather than addressing it as a specific footpath, in terms of it’s a policy to improve the connectivity rather than actually stating it is a footpath. I don’t know if that would help.
Cllr MITCHELL: I would be prepared to accept an amendment to it, but the idea is to connect Greystones with Kilpedder and this overbridge which is being built by the national roads people at great expense. So whether it’s – if it’s modified for that, I would be happy. If we had an objective to connect Greystones to Kilpedder with footpaths and cycleways, that would be to me a suitable objective. If Councillors are happy with that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can I just say and Cllr Kennedy — we are going to provide a footpath from (INAUDIBLE) to Avondale because there is no connectivity. So we are going another route about it. we are not putting it into the Development Plan, we are putting it in somewhere maybe where we can get funding for it. I think if we go that route, we will have 20 or 30 roads throughout the county. The roads plan then comes before the members —
Cllr MITCHELL: We may need compulsory purchase powers to actually get this to work. Cllr VANCE: Chairman I don’t think that’s fair now, all the other municipal authorities, it’s not fair, we could all do this now.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am after making that point.
Cllr VANCE: Of all the places Greystones has been better looked after by this Council than any other municipal authority.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters?
Cllr WINTERS: Cathaoirleach, could you just clarify, if we were to put this into the County Development Plan, are we then saying that that footpath is of a higher priority than any other footpath in the county in terms of funding?
Cllr MITCHELL: It isn’t intended this would be a higher priority for funding. This will help with the industrial zoning in Kilpedder in order to get it connected. I would hope that the money will come from the developer for that. But I think we will need a facility within the County Development Plan to compulsory purchase the land which is necessary to make this happen. And it’s a very large site and I think it’s essential it’s —
Cllr WINTERS: And I accept it may not be your intention for that to happen but I am just waiting for a response.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can I let the Director in.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just for clarification Cathaoirleach it’s T R 11 on page 167 of the draft plan is to facilitate the development of foot and cycleways off road. So you are covered if we go off road to buy land and CPOs. That would found and support a CPO if you did need to buy land. Justice for clarification.
Cllr MITCHELL: We have it an as objective in the employment zone which we passed earlier. Will we be entitled to CPO the land if we can’t get that through?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: That’s a foot cycling and walking objective. It’s actually in there already.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Cullen there please.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I would be very cautious about any more CPOs around that area. This effectively is joining Kilpedder into Greystones greater area. That would effectively be the result of this. That Kilpedder then would become part of Greystones.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor could you speak into the mike there, because we love to hear you.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I was just making the point there Chairman that it would appear that this effectively would make Kilpedder as a part of the Greystones area.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You could put it to the meeting but —
Cllr MITCHELL: I didn’t hear that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You could put it to the meet Fine Gael you like, it’s up to the meeting to decide, if you want to go ahead with that.
Cllr MITCHELL: I would like to go ahead with it, because I think it’s important for developing that industrial estate.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will put it to the meeting then.
Cllr VANCE: Just on a point –
Cllr BLAKE: Chairman just on a point of order, the junction between the Aughrim Avoca road outside Rathdrum, I have been canvassing for a lot of years to include that in the County Development Plan as a junction re-assignment and I was told on – re-alignment and I was told on numerous occasions I couldn’t put it into the County Development Plan.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That’s what I understood it. It’s saying here in the report from the Chief Executive it’s not the place for it. it should be dealt with otherwise. But if Cllr Mitchell insists ongoing ahead with it, so be it. Cllr Kennedy there wants to say something.
Cllr KENNEDY: Just coming in on what Cllr Blake said, as you know and the rest of the Councillors from the Arklow moonsst Municipal District, we want that junction re-aligned as well and we were going to put this in but we didn’t feel it was appropriate, we felt it should be dealt with at Municipal District level. I think this proposal should be dealt with at the Municipal District, I don’t think it should be dealt with here in the plan. It should be referred back to the Municipal District.
Cllr MITCHELL: I’ll withdraw it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. The next one will be a lot of speakers so could we just keep our – amendment number 13, we don’t want to stifle debate again, but if people could keep – amendment number 13. Wind. I am on amendment number 13, climate change and energy and there is a proposal there by Councillor Shay Cullen, to not accept the CE’s recommended number 43 to objective C CE 6. Who was seconding that.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I’ll second that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Could we just keep it lads because we will be here until tomorrow morning if we all go. We are finishing at six and Cllr Cullen insisted on that, so be sparing, two Cullens. Councillor Shay Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: First of all.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor, look at, it’s Councillor Shay Cullen is first there, so Councillor Shay Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: First of all Chairman, I put in two points to the objective here of the wind energy strategy. The first one is a particular cog nans and regard being taken of the impact of wind turbines on residential amenity ^^ particularly with respect to noise and shadow flicker. I – it seems that the CEO is happy with that testimony point. It’s putting more light on the whole area of residential impact. And the second point, windfarm shall be at least 1,000 metres or ten times the tip height of proposed turbines from any residential properties or centres of human habitation. Now the reason I brought this forward was in the absence of revised windfarm guidelines from the Minister including guidance and setbacks, it’s considered unreasonable of the Minister to request that no setbacks be provided in that plan. Furthermore it’s considered appropriate that additional emphasis is placed on wind turbines residential amenities N 2006, Irish wind energy guidelines suggested a minimum setback of 500 metres which was calculated when the average wind turbine height was 50 metres. So in other words ten times the height of the turbine tip. Today, the average size of industrial wind turbines is in excess of 100 metres and I therefore propose that we have a minimum setback of 1,000 metres or ten times the tip height. While we are all in favour of renewable and green energy, we must as public representatives listen to and respect the concerns of the public. While wind farms, whilst on paper seemed a logical way to go about generating renewable energy but there is a cost to communities where wind farms are situated next to and I believe that the communities that have to be listened to and helped on this issue. In my opinion, commercial wind farms come at too great a cost to rural communities. It is well documented there are health concerns with regards to wind farms. They include shadow flicker, other visual sources, reduction of price of property, resale value. Other causes on pre-existing amenity value of residential properties and other centres of human habitation. Noise pollution is obviously an issue. There is also disturbance of wildlife habitats, concern over impact of rural landscape, negative impact on tourism, devaluing the family home. Division in rural communities. Wicklow County Council and we as elected representatives have a responsibility to adhere to the very highest standards of care of the environment and at all times to exercise the duty of care towards residents of our county and by adopting a precautionary approach in respect of the protection of health and quality and life of the population. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks. Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I would like to support Cllr Cullen’s proposal there and I second it. But perhaps maybe we could add in just one little sentence there, where it says wind farms shall be at least 1,000 metres or ten times …(Reading)…, I think we will add in “with special considerations being given to their proximity of such developments to educational facilities.” In other words schools. Because we do know it’s the child sitting in the classroom for those seven or eight hours are most exposed to any potential risks, and I think maybe, I don’t know would that be agreeable, that with special considerations being given to the proximity of such developments to he had caseal facilities the. – educational facilities. I think that’s about trying to put an extra safety measure in there for children in schools.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Cllr Kennedy.
Cllr KENNEDY: Thank you Cathaoirleach. I suppose we all know the problems these applications have causeedin the countryside. And I suppose when Cllr Cullen and myself sat down to look at this, and I am happy to second this proposal, I think ten times the tip height or 1,000 metres is not unrealistic. We all know that families that live in the countryside take care of the countryside. And most of these are going on farm family land. These have the potential to split families down the middle, split communities down the middle. I have a particular caution as to where there are children with autism. And the audible noise that comes from windmills that may affect them. A child is entitled to have a night’s sleep in their own home, not have a buzzing sound that comes from windmills. So I actually believe 1,000 metres or ten times the tip height is realistic. It also seems to be acceptable to the people who are living in the rural and countryside. I am seconding Cllr Cullen’s proposal and I hope the members go with it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman. I don’t have any problem with the first point in the amendment calling sans with regard to impact of wind turbines. It’s well covered in the draft guidelines about noise and flicker. So that’s not a problem. We probably don’t even have to include that because we would have to adhere to the guidelines and the lied giens take piece – guidelines take precedence over the plan. The height of 1,000 metres, it’s a bit of a course instrument when what you are trying to do is address noise to just have a setback you can have wind turbines in areas, that the setback, depending on the distanced the topography and everything in the area can be noisier than ones that are set closer. The guidelines are pretty clear that they’d address noise at the receptors, rather than trying to set a minimum distance back, because setting the minimum distance back, you could still have a higher noise at the receptor. So I think we need to take the ministerial advice on this. And go with the guidelines. The draft guidelines are out there at the moment and there will be guidelines on this. I think it’s a waste of time of the I know we have all been lobbied very, very heavily by anti-windfarm groups and there is no doubt the anti-pylon groups won’t be far behind if we do have a load of wind farms. But my main priority is to protect residential amenity by addressing the noise and flicker, and that’s well catered for in the guidelines. The minimum setback at the moment is 500 metres. It may be addressed in the guides Lyons, but we are going to have to apply whatever the guidelines are, so I don’t see there is a point in putting this in really. I would be voting to support the CE’s recommendation on this Chairman. Also, sorry, one more point, if you make 1,000 metre setback, you are effectively driving wind turbines into areas of outstanding natural beauty, where we have no residential development, so if visual amenity is your concern, you are going to drive them further into the areas that we are trying to preserve
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks Chairman. Cllr Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Thanks Chairman, I would like to support Cllr Cullen’s proposal here today. Certainly we in South Wicklow are the one area of the county that have probably had the wind farms for quite a number of years. The initial wind farms -R7 of a small nature. And certainly the number of windmills on the particular land as well, always owned by the individual landowner themselves rather than by companies that seem to be coming into the whole equation at the moment. So there was a lot of – at that particular point and time, there was a lot of discussion, but very little objection to them based particularly on the fact that they were owned by the landowner and they weren’t of nature of or size that we are seeing today in terms of the huge wind tip that they actually are. Equally so, listening to the new &nb Minister for energy, it seems to me that he has become very cautious regards this whole wind energy aspect as well and in due to the fact that we don’t have a clear proposal from the department and from the new Minister, with regards tot I think there is no harm that we send our point regards our considerations in terms of the future of where wind farms are, particularly in regards to the size of them. As I said at the outset, the initial ones weren’t huge and they were accepted by the communities, but the present ones are gone so huge and so near to people’s property, that I think it’s created a different climate out there in terms of people’s objections to them. I support Cllr Cullen’s proposal here today.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell.
Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach, again I would be supporting this amendment today, I remember in the last Development Plan in 2010, where Councillors had concerns in regards to the distance at that time, which was 500 metres, and over the course of the last six years, we have seen a situation where these wind turbines are growing in stature all the time, and I think it’s appropriate that we move with the times to try and safeguard people who live in these communities and who are under threat of wind turbines going into their communities. And I think 1,000 metres is desirable to give them some sort of quality of life. While people talk about the noise, we also have to be mindful of the shadow flicker, which has detrimental effect on people’s livelihoods, and on their well-being. So I would be supporting this 100%, and I commend the Councillors for bringing it here to the Draft Development Plan.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, I would just also like to record my support for this proposal. I thunk it’s very much a response to genuine concerns that were raised by many people, particularly in the South Wicklow area. and I fully support it and I don’t know whether I could suggest, I can suggest it but whether you would accept it or not, but I also have a proposal, which is the very last one on the list there, number 33, that all applications for wind turbines be accompanied by a health impact assessment in accordance with the guidance published by the institute of public health. I don’t know because it’s relevant whether you want to take it as well after this one or not. I suggest we might. I’ll certainly be supporting Cllr Cullen.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will do that then. We need a seconder for that as well Joe.
Cllr SNELL: I’ll second that Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Cullen has one small amendment to that, are you happy enough, which has been seconded by Councillor Pat Kennedy, are you happy to take that as part of your amendment, about schools, Councillor Tommy Cullen, you wanted a small sentence put in there.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Just add on special considerations given to the proximity of such developments to educational facilities.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Are you happy enough with that.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Is there a particular distance?
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: No, no. Special consideration.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters, are you coming in again there.
Cllr WINTERS: Thanks Cathaoirleach. I suppose I am supportive of wind energy. I think that we are all going down a road of finite resources in terms of fossil fuels, etcetera. I think 1,000 metres, which was proposed is actually would be even hard at 1,000 metres to find land not just in Wicklow but really in lots of places in the country, where we can put upwind turbines. And I think 1,000 metres is sufficient. So I think to change it to ten times the tip height of the proposed turbines will effectively mean that we don’t have any wind energy in County Wicklow, and I think that that is a bad move for us as a county and for our energy requirements as a country. Thanks.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: Thank you Cathaoirleach. I would be a supporter in principle of wind energy. It’s one thing that Ireland and Wicklow has a lot of, is wind. And so if we want to decarbonise our society, which we have to do, this is a reasonably good way of generating energy from something that we have all the time. Now obviously it’s a problem, can be a problem for people who are near them, and I think that the main assessment of that is really with the noise and any shadow flicker on a person or on a whatever type of building we are talking about. And I would be – I appreciate that the turbines have got significantly taller, and therefore the shadow will be significantly larger than in the past, but I do think putting up to ten times the tip height is extreme, and I would prefer myself that we waited for the national guidelines to come out, and – because I do think we should have some wind energy. It is important and I suppose every county has to do its bit in having some.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: I think Wicklow has done more than virtually any county with regards to renewable energy. I mean just look at the huge windfarm off the Arklow banks. Bigger than anywhere. So Wicklow has provided more wind energy than most counties so we have played our part and done our part for renewable energy off the Arklow banks. And just bear in mind that these wind turbines are now being designed and one of them recently actually fell down in Carlow, it was lucky – it just bloody well collapsed, broke in half! These are almost twice the height of liberty hall, and three times the width. And so even at 1,000 metres, they’d still be quite visible. If you walk anywhere around Dublin, go town to Heuston Station and look across, you can bloody well see liberty hall. If liberty hall was twice the height, you would surely see it. 1,000 metres is not that onerous a thing. I think it’s quite a moderate proposal. CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, we have a proposal there and I think Cllr Cullen has put a small amendment to that, I think you are happy enough to accept that. So I think we have to have a vote because I think there is some rest reservations about the height being proposed here. ^^ so I think we will have to have a vote because people think we may be going over the top.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just to clarify again Cathaoirleach —
Cllr VANCE: Just on a point of information, could I just ask what happens if there is a (INAUDIBLE) in regard to wind energy. From what I can gather is the Government is committed to bringing in national standards in regards to wind energy? Like other people, I am very supportive of wind energy for the simple reason that you get a lot of people around the table talking about various — and I understand them as well with flicker and noise, nobody ever provides an alternative for the energy needs in the next 20 or 30 years. That’s what I have a problem with, we can be against everything, we can legislate so that no wind energy comes into Wicklow at all, which I don’t think is legitimate and then the other thing is that nobody ever provides any information on how we are going to get the extra energy that’s needed in the country in the next 20, 30 years as well. So I mean they’re issues as well, but my main one is that I believe there should be a national type of standard set and what happens to our Development Plan if this is accepted, if national standards come in, obviously would they take precedent over our Development Plan? Would we have to put them back into our Development Plan or would they go back in automatically?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just, I think you probably know this already, but we did do drawings here doing the 1,000 cordon around each house and I end up with no area where you can put a windmill except in mountain area, areas of natural beauty and special areas of conservation which already have been left out of the wind policy. It basically means when you pass this, you are having no extra windmills in the county at all, just to – And on the Government guidelines, the Cathaoirleach asked me to clarify that. They do take piece Derek but I know when it came to apartment sizes that various authorities were doing their own apartment sizes and they actually made a further ministerial guideline on that that you actually have to. I am not really sure whether they take precedence or whether the Minister has to explicitly state it Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The members want to take a vote, I mean, I don’t know what the department are planning, I don’t think they know themselves, but I think the members want to take a vote and I think we should proceed with a vote.
MS GALLAGHER: Proposed by Cllr Cullen &nb (INAUDIBLE)
(A vote was taken)
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just could we just possibly take Cllr Behan has alluded to it there, another one is related there and we will come back with your one Cllr Fortune in the afternoon. Sorry —
MS GALLAGHER: 25 for, five against and two not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Number 33 is seconded by Councillor John Snell, it’s another wind energy strategy and that all applications for wind turbines should be accompanied by a health impact assessment in accordance with the guidance published by the Irish institute of public health. So Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: It’s quite simple clearly addressing the issues that arose as a result of objections to the major industrial sized wind farms that have been proposed before which is that any application in future should actually be also ahe is ised on the impact, the possible impact on human health, which should be our very first priority over and above everything else. And it’s quite interesting that in the response from the Chief Executive, the reason why they don’t agree with me putting it in is that current ministerial guidelines don’t require the submission of a health impact assessment at all. So you could take that to mean that actually the Government guidelines won’t even consider the impact on human health, whereas the impact on human health should be the first priority. All I am saying there is that at the very minimum is that any application, if there is an application in the future should be accompanied by that assessment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell? Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach, I am happy to second this proposal by Cllr Behan. And again, I actually congratulate him on identifying what I see to be a void there, because in regards national and international best practice, I think it should be national and international best practice that a health impact assessment is done. At the end of the day, I find it extraordinary that it wasn’t part and parcel of any applications that was going forward in the beginning. Therefore I think we should lead the way in County Wicklow and put this as part of our County Development Plan.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. Anyone else want to contribute? We are all in agreement? Sorry.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Would it be enforceable from a planning authority if an application came with no health impact assessment. I agree with Cllr Behan that the health should be primary, health and safety is primary in everything that we do, but if these things aren’t enforceable, why put them in the plan? Thanks Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. Just, we, I think rather than just rush Cllr Fortune’s – who is seconding that by the way.
MS GALLAGHER: Cllr Snell.
CATHAOIRLEACH: No, this one coming up, Cllr Whitmore is it.
Cllr MURPHY: Was that one agreed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed sure, it was called out there, no-one objected.
Cllr MATTHEWS: I am not objecting to it.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, it’s one o’clock.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are back at two o’clock, is it. Two o’clock. Then we are here until six! &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are going to start at councillor amendment number 14, proposed by Councillor Tom Fortune and seconded by Cllr Whitmore. Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: Thank you Cathaoirleach. (can’t hear) to preserve the lands at the rocks Kilcoole as shown in map 10.16 in its existing state to allow no development of these lands and to protect the lands as a natural habitat sand biodiversity area, to protect the open nature and landscape quality of the lands. Just to give some background to that, in the 2010, 2016 Development Plan, it states the vision for the area can be achieved bit retention of a suitable greenbelt between Greystones, Delgany and Kilcoole. In this area, there is a valley known locally as the rocks, with a unique heritage of natural biodiversity and eco system dating back from the ice age 10,000 years ago and it contains a tblaisal melt water channel and the stream from this particular channel makes its way down as far as the breaches, which is about a mile and a half to two miles away down in Kilcoole and it also forms part of the Murrough environmental protection area as well. And over all the years, this area has escaped development due to its unsuitability for agriculture or other human activity. Now specifically what the wish for the objective is that the rocks, a unique heritage of natural biodiversity in an irreplaceable landscape connected to the Murrough be specifically named and identified and defined within the plan for the purpose of protection. The goal is consistent with the rural environmental protection scheme. In addition the EU has a policy that the remaining graciousal valleys be protected. Within that valley, there is again, the moo microphone doesn’t seem tock working, within that valley, there is many, many species of bird and wildlife that have been there forever. So that’s the intention of the amendment, and I would like the members obviously to support that, and have it properly embedded in the County Development Plan.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I would support this amendment. I feel the one thing that the CE response, there is no evidence to justify the zoning of the lands …(Reading)… Likewise there is no import to not justify it either. I feel it definitely needed an environmental assessment before we actually go ahead and put a huge landfill into it. I support this completely. I think there are other areas. We haven’t received enough documentation or proof that there is nowhere else to put it and although I know Bray needs to get rid of all of the work from the Dargle, I don’t think it should be in this area, I think it’s an ecological important site as far as I am aware and I certainly haven’t been given any documentation from Wicklow County Council to prove otherwise so, I am fully in support of Cllr Fortune’s amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Whitmore.
Cllr WHITMORE: Thanks Chair. I fully support this, I am seconding the amendment. In relation to the comments from the Chief Executive that there is no evidence to justify the zoning of the lands, I suppose when the initial proposal went forward, that this site be used as an in-full and the Council proposed they would in-fill with the substrate from the Dargle, it would then be – initially they proposed it would be turned into football fields. When the Council went to the national parks with that suggestion, the national parks actually said no, this is an ecologicalically significant site and rather than put football fields there to relandscape it, and sell it back as an ecological site. There are badgers, and a lot of – it’s a high area of biodiversity there. National parks have already said it is ecologicalically significant and that’s why they decided against the idea of the football pitches. I think from – I would agree with what Cllr McLoughlin said, rather than us having to prove here that it is ecologicalically significant, I think on the basis of the precautionary approach that the onus is on the Council to prove it is not significant. And one of the other issues that the C U raised was that this effectively sterilises the lands from any form of development. Now as a Council, we manage land in our county for the people of the county. And different sites have different values, and different worth and sometimes land site is valued based on its – the potential for it to be developed. Other times its value is more intrinsic and it’s more in relation to the community connection to that site, to the ecological benefits that have site, the areas of biodiversity and I think as a Council we need to recognise that the local community are very, very against this site being developed and that they do have significant ties to it. And I think we do need to value it, we need to recognise it and we need to protect it within our County Development Plan. So I would hope that our fellow Councillors here would support us in that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Kavanagh.
Cllr KAVANAGH: Thanks Cathaoirleach. I went to see the rocks valley on Friday, and I was walked through it with a member of the save the rocks valley project. And I have to say I am very, very impressed with it. Less than 3% of our land mass in Ireland is what’s known as natural habitat. In fact it’s probably a lot less, that was based on a survey carried out in 1856. So it’s becoming rarer and rarer, and I think it’s incumbent on us to protect what little there is left. There is a whole eke system that’s evolved in the rocks valley, by natural habitat, I mean something that’s grown up totally without the influence of man. As I said, a whole eco system ^^ has evolved, it may not have the special plans that grow in the limestone region of the Burren or in the micro climate of Valentia, but if left untouched, this area will become a place where students of botany and biodiversity and eco systems will come to carry out environmental studies in years to come. Why should we leave it untouched? Well it’s home to a wide range of animals, birds and plants. There are Red Kite and owls nesting there. There are badgers, foxes, rabbits andhares. There is a multitude of flowers, plants and trees, including a 400-year-old Holly tree, and as far as I know, the Holly trees are actually a protected tree. It’s a natural wetland. It’s not ideal for building on. It’s bounded on all sides by streams. Some of them have their own names, one of them is known as kin I cantiy, and they all flow down and eventually end up towards the Murrough. ^^ if any dumping was to occur on such ground, then poison would go into the water system, and it would eventually work its way down to other areas that are protected. Like the wetlands at the Murrough. There are other options for the silt and the stone that will be dredged from the Dargle. There have been at least two offers to remove hundreds of tonnes of silt free of charge. Even if this is in contravention of procurement guidelines, there is an option to put the removal of this soil and stone out to tender. The stone can be quarried and used for building purposes and the soil can be used for landfill. To speak about creating an eco park makes no sense whatsoever. Why would we allow a natural habitat to be destroyed in order to create an unnatural one? There are hundreds of people in the Kilcoole area that have made submission toss protect this area and I think we have to take their wishes on board. We are custodians of special areas like the rocks valley, and in the end, we will be judged not by what we develop, but by what we destroy and if we destroy this, we can’t get it back. It will lose its status as a natural habitat. And that’s all I want to say.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Thank you Cathaoirleach. First of all, there was no designation on this site, it’s not a special area of conservation, it’s not a special protection area, it’s not part of the Murrough special area of conservation. It doesn’t have the lower standard of the natural heritage area by the department. It was never a candidate area. never a proposed area. When you say it’s there since the ice age, well most of our Irish landscape is there since the ice age and places like Bray Head are there much much older and the mountains in the centre there are much much older. So all all landscape, that’s the last part of geology, the ice age, it means very, very little. National parks and Wildlife Service didn’t say they didn’t want it for football, they suggested that are and it was suggested and the locals said there is no need for more football fields in Greystones and that was proposed. There are no owls nesting there. There is lots of animals forage there. Badgers are the only things that have been found there. There would be no pollution from the dumping because it’s in-ard waste, river gravel, come down from the mountains over the ages and that’s what’s been dredged from the river. In effect, what we were doing here is taking a Council asset that was purchased by the Council and I think it was around a million pounds in the late 90s or early 2,000s. And basically sterilising it. It’s not actually an amenity at the moment because no-one can get into it. It might be used by very, very few people directly adjacent to it. The current proposal is that it would be an eco park. This is a planning matter rather than a planning – a planning application to Bord Pleanala on behalf of Wicklow County Council to get rid of the dredgings from Bray. They’re really two different things, but since it’s been brought up, I may as well comment on it: We are trying to get rid of the dredgings in Bray. We have an awful lot of options but we have to fall back in the end on final disposal of the we may use all of this or part of it depending on what we can get rid of elsewhere and we are doing our best. At the ends of the day we have to have a place to put dredgings and we can’t leave a mountain on the slang in-definitely. We don’t have planning approval for that in any case to leave it there forever. But certainly in the Bray flood scheme is doing its best to get rid of all the material. We just can’t give it to someone to take away because you have to have licenses and transfer licenses and all the rest. We can’t go breaking the law. So the effect of this so, you can pass no development on anyone’s land. I don’t think constitutionally it would get through. You perhaps can do it on land the Council owns but then you are actually spending your own actual funds on it, because while this land is on the books, there is actually an asset backing the money that’s owed, but once it’s taken off the books as it would be in this case, then that money is going to have to be produced somewhere and paid for. But there is no planning grounds whatsoever to sterilise these lands F the Council is doing any work and we are about to lodge an application to Bord Pleanala, there is a full environmental impact statement, assessed by an independent body, and if they find that it’s not suitable, that’s fine, that’s the end of it. But right now, this is a pre-emptive strike before anyone can actually do an environmental assessment on the land. CE: Cathaoirleach, I haven’t a whole lot more to add to Mr O’Brien, it’s included in the report on page 707 and 708. But I think the important element of it is to divorce the two, the proposals that are out there for it. what we have is a Council piece of land. It’s a Council asset, to put a sterilisation de facto on it without any discussion, I think would be wrong. And misinformed, in the context of the overall discussion.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman, I know the two issues are related but this is actually to do with this particular piece of land here. But if – I presume a proposal will be brought to us or we will be given a guideline on what the eco park may involve and that would involve doing a habitat survey. We would actually know better what we have there, and I would like to see the plans for the eco park as well before we write it off straight away. It could be an improvement. It might be a massive disimprovement, but I don’t have the information before me at the moment. Would it be possible to defer this until we do have an EIS prepared so we know what we are dealing with out there exactly, before we start to say there will be no development there? If you have no development on it, you can’t do anything with it at all, whether for good or bad. I would be worried about putting that no development at all without actually having the information or baseline to know what we are dealing with there. Thank you Chairman. CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Is there a cost on the removal of the debris from the River Dargle in regard to – I mean people need all the information before making a decision on this. Now I presume that the Bord Pleanala, an application goes to them and they will make a decision whether the soil can be put there or not, but is there a rough cost on it if they decide to go ahead with this? Effectively if this Council here decide to zone this land, then they can’t be put there. Would that be the case? I want clarification on this? Or is this going through the old Development Plan, if we go through like that process by going to the bored and the next couple of weeks in regard to this. There is a lot of questions now that need to be answered now for me to get my head right in this. There is a cost element in it as well. And there is a barred Pleanala element and the legitimacy of them making a decision, if this Council has already made a zoning decision on it. I just want clarification on that, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: I note that the Director is saying that this is a Council asset. But a Council asset, you know, can be used for lots of things, and I would think the protection of this valley, because of its history and biodiversity properties and the life that lives on it should be a good investment by any Local Authority, and basically, if in case members don’t understand, what we are talking about here is taking 280,000 tonnes of material out of the Dargle in Bray and transporting it out and putting it into this valley, when there is already a natural valley there. And really my understanding and my information is that the material that’s coming out of Bray, is probably worth in the region of two and a half million euro. And I am also – understand that there are other facilities that can take it. So I just think, I am not an environmentalist by qualification, but there is people out there who know what they’re talking about and this really is environmental he is uponnage. It’s ^^ destroying the environment, there is no need for it. we have had several discussions and from most of the discussions it appears that this is a financial, it’s an economic decision rather than an environmental decision. And really, the feeling of the people in the area and there has been a massive amount of submissions on this particular item, that this valley be left as it is, and there is – the proposal that’s before the Council today is very serious. I mean, a Local Authority has more responsibilities than standing up to us and talking to us like a property developer, that we have an amount of assets and we have this. whatever money was paid for it, I mean when was it bought? What was bought? It just gets thrown out loosely and this reallyf we have any value on our county, any value on what goes into plans, we need to protect this particular area and that’s the wish of the people in the area, and to go against the wishes of the people in the area would be absolutely wrong.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman could I just come in and say this wasn’t an issue, this was never an issue in the last 20 or 25 years in regard to that piece of land until it was decide that had maybe the Council would deposit some soil from the Dargle. If that was so important, it should have been brought up before now, but the reason it’s being brought up now is because people are just trying to stop the soil being deposited on that site. Now I don’t know what, environmentally or otherwise, if it can be done or not. But let’s get facts straight here. If this was that important, people would have brought it up before and they haven’t. The fact of the matter is that it’s only because the soil was proposed to be deposited on that site that has suddenly brought this into eminence. Other than that it wouldn’t even be discussed at this meeting.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: Cllr Vance has an opinion which he is entitled to like all of us, but he is wrong. That valley has been in its natural state forever. No-one dreamed in a month of Sundays that anyone would want to destroy it by putting almost 300,000 tonnes of material into it. No-one would dream of doing that. Now this is put on the table and people are going mad and saying you can’t do this. there is people out there who know a lot more about the environmental side of this than Cllr Vance or myself who know what they’re talking about. Why would we sit here, we are talking about the County Development Plan, we are talking about its core objective is the use of land, and sit here and allow a natural valley that several of us have described here to the meeting, be destroyed. You can’t allow that happen. It would be totally wrong of us to allow that happen. Just because you want to move a bunch of earth made up of whatever it’s made up of A to B and when there are other options on the table. This has been discussed and established that there are other options. This would be totally unfair to do this and very, very wrong. I personally couldn’t support a plan that would destroy an area like this, because it is wrong. And I think it’s been driven by financial reasons, and no more than I am not an expert, I think the people in the executive are not experts either and it’s to be done for the wrong reasons and it should not be done and we as members should not allow this happen here today.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Cllr Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, I was just listening to what was said here and listening to what Cllr Kavanagh said about all the rivers and streams all running alongside this particular piece of ground and then you are told that the Council are going to effectively dump up to 300,000 tonnes of waste material, clay, etcetera, into this, on to this land. What impact would that have on the streams and rivers? It would have a devastating effect on the streams and rivers because it would cause flooding downstream or upstream because there would be spill off into the streams and rivers causing them to clog up, and you would have major problems, it would cause flooding problems everywhere because the streams and that would be blocked up by the thousands of tonnes of soil that you are going to dump into a small area. That would have a huge environmental impact on that particular area, leaving aside any other area. I hear this talk that this is a Council asset, every parkland in this county is a Council asset. I don’t hear people saying because it’s parkland, because the public want part of an area of green space, that it’s a Council asset and therefore you can’t provide residents with green spaces, this is a green open space, it seems, an area rich with natural heritage and heritage, and it has as I said an abundance of wildlife and what have you but to come along and all the traffic movements you would have with trucks and lorries from Bray down to this area and all the dirt, the noise and everything that’s going to create and all the – that’s going to create on the environment and on the road structure. That would be a nightmare for the people of Kilcoole and I don’t think it’s fair that that area of Kilcoole should be turned into a dumping ground for soil waste from the Bray area. that’s what I think and I think it’s Council land. Yes it is Council land. But we probably bought it years ago, probably for very, very little. If the Councillors want to turn it few a parkland, I would say fair play to them to put it into a park land. The public are crying out for parklands because access to the countryside is getting more and more restricted, so if the residents want a parkland in a built-up area, I think that’s an excellent idea and it’s more of these we should be looking for. At the end of the day, it’s public lands, not a Council asset, it’s public lands and it’s there to serve the public and if the public representatives deem this is suitable for a parkland for the residents, so be it. I support it.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I’ll come back in again because there is some statements there that are erroneous. There are no proven options to get this. These have been stated at public meetings, they’ve been rebutted. There are no proven options elsewhere to get T we are doing our best to find our option toss get rid of our waste. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be a fall back. It was got in the late 90s or early 2,000s for landfill for the Greystones southern access road when it was going to be done by direct labour. It was subsequently done by contract so it wasn’t used. It did cost around a million euro. The devastating effect on streams, there will not be a devastating effect on streams, there is a full environmental impact statement done and that will be up to Bord Pleanala to decide what the impacts are. If the impacts are unacceptable, that will be the end of it. What’s happening here is a pre-emptive strike so it can’t even be ahe isedis for planning. We have actually seen ^^, people there in Delgany Wood and Greystones, where a lot of your constituents would live, that oral hearing, we had endless evidence of how this was a tremendous natural heritage area, it should be an area of special conservation and it should be a red book site, and the person who does the red book for Ireland came and gave evidence on it. He gave evidence that he used to play there on as a child and knew what the land was. There are endless sites like this around the country and the county. It wasn’t picked by any of the people who were doing designated sites at the time. And for those in the farming community would realise at the time there was an awful lot of N H A sites designated around the county. There were a lot of – they were contested at the time. It wasn’t that they didn’t sort of – they went around and just picked a few sites to tick a box. They went around the entire county looking for such sites. I really can see nothing in merit in effectively de-zoning or sort of taking out a land from any development, and especially since it won’t be an amenity because people can’t get into it. What’s being proposed in the planning application is it will be an amenity for the public. So I just want to – I think that’s most of the issues I wanted to make, yeah, thanks.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: Well Mr O’Brien is talking about eRhoneious statements. I am looking at a planning application here that was put into this Local Authority to put earth fill sites, ancillary works …(Reading)… and truck wash at Knockroe and priest Newtown Delgany. It was turned down. And there was a number of reasons why it was turned down but the third reason was the development would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area as it would damage a local natural habitat and because a stream on site is within the Murrough catchment. The development would increase the risk of pollution to the Murrough which is a designated, a candidate of natural heritage area, a special protection area and a candidate special area of conservation. So it was okay then for the Council to make that statement, but when we make that statement in order to protect it now, we are told we are being erroneous. I mean there is a massive in-consistency in what I am hearing from the top table based on that. What I am hearing from the Director doesn’t stack up at all. And I think what the submission that came in from many, many residents and what we as local Area Councillors are putting forward stacks up. It’s here in your own document. So it’s okay, it’s okay when it suits you to make that comment and then it’s not okay now. Now that is, that to me, if that doesn’t supported a bad decision, well I don’t know what does.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do you want to come in again there.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Yeah, you can’t compare one planning application to the other, and it’s pointless taking —
Cllr FORTUNE: Come on, come on, come on.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s pointless taking a planning application, you don’t know what the proposals were. I actually do know what the proposals were.
Cllr FORTUNE: That’s unbelievable.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Councillor, have you seen the application, be honest, have you seen what was proposed.
Cllr FORTUNE: I seen what you said.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Have you seen what was proposed.
Cllr FORTUNE: I haven’t seen what was proposed. That’s your own decision and how you can make that decision then and then try and tell me here today and the rest of its Councillors, the opposite, it doesn’t stack up.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It stacks up on the proposals.
Cllr FORTUNE: It stacks up because you are saying it does. Ryan Ryan can I clarify if we make this decision today and it goes through, this will reduce the assets of the Council by over a million euro. Is that a fact?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: – dr. Cllr RYAN: That’s a huge decision fort Council to make today.
Cllr VANCE: Can we get an answer to that.
Cllr RYAN: By terealising that, you devalue it.
Cllr VANCE: I didn’t get an answer, how much money if this site was found not to be of any use, how much are we talking about to deposit (INAUDIBLE) are we talking about two and a half million like what Cllr Fortune said? Is that the type of money we are talking about or has an analysis been done on exactly how much money it would cost. That has to have an effect on people here, because this money has to come from somewhere and if it was two and a half million on top of land that cost a million, you are talking about three naff million this is going to cost the Council.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just on the sited itself, it was purchased, it was around a million, at the time, and I think just to be very straight, the – when you have an asset, and you pay that much for it, the – that value is backed by the asset. If you take the asset away, then obviously there is nothing left more to balance against that money so that would be a million gone. Whether the site is worth a million now or more is another point. On the amount of money costing to get rid of the spoil from Bray: There are a few variables on this, and I am not trying to fudge it or anything, but gate fees are going up all the time for dumping in-ard waste, because they change the Planning Act, planning regulations which means you now have to get planning permission for every casual bit of filling in rural areas, which used to be able to be exempt and you get a permit. So they’re going up. On the other hand, we are lucky in other ways to get rid of this: One of them is on beach nourishment in Bray. There is others where we have actually did our latest tender and did it in a way that people who wanted to take it could tender for it, and we have actually in that, we have got rid of some of the waste. But certainly if we have to go and pay current increasing gate fees, it’s at least a million we think we are saving on it.
Cllr VANCE: And this was bought specifically in the 90s for —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: In the late 90s, early,000ss.
Cllr VANCE: But it was bought for what reason.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: For the southern access route, the Farrankelly road. Cllr O’BRIEN: I think the worry for them there is basically you are going to remove material from Bray, which I think the Director said there would cost a million to move that material, I presume it would be moved by trucks from Bray and I presume that would take a period of time. I presume the worry here is that it’s going to be destroyed by putting materials in there and he is making it clear that the people of Kilcoole have spoken clearly in relation to what they’re looking for there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Kavanagh and then Cllr Whitmore.
Cllr KAVANAGH: I am here to establish the facts. We have been told that the site cost a million. I had discussions with somebody from the save the rocks valley, they said it cost 360,000, so we need to establish the facts. That’s number one. Number two, there have been at least two legitimate offers of removal of the substrate, because it has a value for builders. There have been two licensed quarries who have made representation in order to take the stuff away. It wouldn’t cost anything to remove it. There is a residual value to them in that they can recycle the stone for building. And for quarries. For quarrying. And the soil can be used for landfill. So it has a huge value fort people who are offering to take it away. So I think we need to actually establish the facts here. They wouldn’t be unlicensed, they can’t operate without a licence, so why would anybody suggest that unlicensed people are offering to remove this? It wouldn’t be allowed. So I really do think that we need to get the facts established before we start trying to destroy our natural heritage. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor mitt mother.
Cllr WHITMORE: Just following on from Cllr Kavanagh, the point she has been making, it’s my understanding that the the Office of Public Works have funded the project at Bray. And that part of that was the removal of this material. So the Council has already been allocated money to do that, so there will be no additional cost on the Council. The money to dispose of this material will not be coming out of the Council’s coffers, it will be coming out of the funding that had been given by the Office of Public Works. That’s my understanding. And I just want to get back to the point where we were talking about that this is a Council asset. This is not a Council asset. This is a community asset. The Council are custodians of the land for the people of the – of Wicklow, and we need to ensure that in areas such as this where the community have very deep ties to an area and are very concerned about specific areas, we need to acknowledge those concerns and protect areas for, I suppose look at for future generations, we are only here for a short time, we need to make sure these things can continue for communities for future.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do you want to come in again.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just stating again that someone is willing to take this, they don’t have the permits to take it Councillor. I have the facts on this. You look at their licenses, they can bring so much per year, and it doesn’t go anywhere near this. I am sorry, but that’s just not a fact.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Lawless.
Cllr LAWLESS: Just very quickly, just on what Cllr Whitmore was saying there, just with the OPW, she is correct in saying that and I am looking back here at my notes that we have, I have written down there would be a savings of over 700,000 to the OPW because we queried whether any of that money would come back to us and it wouldn’t, it’s saving the OPW money so Jennifer is correct, I wanted to clarify that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Gerry Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: The Director made reference that the material might be suitable for beach nourishment, has there been any assessment into that or is that a live option.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We are this reminds me of if anyone can remember back to Harold Wilson, when he was asked a question, he would take the pipe out and he could never light the shagging pipe for ages, I am thinking maybe these lights have been put to the officials to start thinking of what their answer is! Unfortunately, I have forgotten what the question is! Beach nourishment. We are investigating that yeah, we are investigating that. In fact we have had talks with with a few people and we are doing tests on T we are trying everything to do this. At the end of the day, there is a public purse and whether it’s OPW money or any money, we see public money as something we try to spend as wisely as possible at all stages.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Thanks Chairman, I just want to focus on this particular amendment number 14, which is with this land here, and I know the spoil from the River Dargle is something that will be linked to this. It’s not necessarily going to go here but an EIS has been prepared and from that we would know whether this land would qualify for some sort of habitat designation. Is that correct? Could the decision then be made on what way to zone this land once we have the evidence from the EIS present today us. Could we wait until we have that information before we start putting designations on land without having the evidence for it. There is no – I mean I want to protect environmental protection and our natural heritage as much as anybody else, we all do, but I think we should do this evidence based. Thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: … we are hearing two figures and also we have strayed into talking about the mechanics and costs of how we should move a bunch of earth from Bray to somewhere else, which is not what’s before us. What’s before us is the amendment and that’s probably what’s addressed obviously, is to protect that site. That’s the amendment that’s before us. The other stuff is all very important and we on a local basis have had lots and lots of discussions on it, but there is a real concern now that this site will be destroyed the way we have already discussed and we would like to have it – we talk about the site being an asset. Again as Cllr Kavanagh says, let’s understand exactly what was paid for it and as Cllr Whitmore says, an asset – is the asset being used to secure something else, or is that part of it, or what’s going on? At the end of the day, it’s an asset for the people, the people of Wicklow, and protecting this valley surely is worth whatever investment or whatever costs it stands to the Local Authority, it’s worth doing this in that interest and protecting – I mean the one thing Director I just don’t, can’t just come to terms with, that if you take the discussion we have had now, and the rational you have given us of why this – and then I quote to you a planning application, and a condition or a reason why it was turned down which is exactly what residents and people are asking now, and we seem to be able to say well you can’t compare two, it’s a different situation. It’s planning at the end of the day and there was a rational given why the planning wasn’t going to be granted. That rational surely applies today equally as it did back then. The area is the very same?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can we leave it at that.
Cllr VANCE: I think what Cllr Matthews proposed and if he proposed it, I’ll second it, I think it’s reasonable and it’s sensible that let’s have the information, let’s have the EIS before we decide on anything, and we don’t have – we are asked to vote on something here and we don’t have the full information. It’s a serious question, irrespective, you are talking about, like what somebody said there, it may not be Wicklow County Council’s money, but it’s public money we are talking about as well here and we need the best use of that as well. I do think that most importantly, is that we have all the information before us before we make a decision on it and I would certainly support what he is asking for. Let’s have the information. An EIS has to be done in regard to this site, whether it’s suitable for not for spoil to be put there, but let’s have that information before we take a decision on it, because the decision is very serious from lots of points of view, no matter what point of view you are taking on this. I think that’s very important, that we have the information, and we are taking – if we are taking a decision here today, we are taking a decision based on not having that type of information before us.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I think we have to take o decision on what’s in front of us here today.
Cllr FOX: Does it go on public display.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It goes on public display.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, Mr O’Brien said the Council paid a million euro for this land, (INAUDIBLE) suggested that – Mr O’Brien has said this land has been offset against the borrowings. Could we first and foremost find out how much we did pay for this land? Can you explain to us what loan was this land hedged against? When was it that money borrowed against this particular piece of land? How much is outstanding on that loan? Because these are all important issues. We are here talking if we don’t do this, we are going to lose this. At the end of the day, the land is going to remain in Council ownership so Council is going to lose nothing. It’s still going to be properly belonging to the County Council. People could say there is parkland in parts of Bray, Greystones, everywhere else, and if the Council put it up for sale for residential use, you get a lot of money, that’s correct. But it’s parkland. It’s there for the public good and this is a public body and we are here to serve the public good. We are not here to be developers. That’s not our role. We are not here to be developers. Sometimes I think the executive mixes up the two points, that they think they’re the developers. We are not the developers, we are here to serve the public good. So those two questions, can I have a specific answer from Mr O’Brien. Mr O’Brien has stated that the Council paid one million pounds for this land or one million euro, there is another suggestion that 360,000, said that is it was leveraged against a particular loan. What loan it was leveraged against and what’s the status of that loan at the moment and with regards to the EIS, has the EIS been independently commissioned? Is it an independent EIS, or is it an EIS being carried out by one particular side? These are three questions I would like answers to.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: Similar to when Cllr Matthews raised it earlier, I thought the whole idea of a County Development Plan was that we didn’t get into the financial aspects of land or land ownership or all of the rest of it, so why do we need to know what the loan is or S I thought that’s what we were meant to do is decide on the land use regardless. I don’t think we should have those answers. Cllr
Tommy CULLEN: I didn’t raise the issue.
Cllr WINTERS: You just asked the questions, I am just expressing my opinion as well. Cllr Tommy CULLEN: You can’t interpret what I said.
Cllr WALSH: Maybe we will let – agree to let it go out on public display and then vote on it before we adopt the plan and maybe by then we will have some results back from the EIS application.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Look it, we have discussed it for the last 40 minutes, and Cllr Fortune has proposed it, Cllr Whitmore has seconded it, battle gal Cllr Matthews (INAUDIBLE).
Cllr MATTHEWS: Chairman, would it be possible for the planners and the proposer to try and putting wording there that we could take towards the end of the meeting that we could look at the proposal providing the evidence in the EIS would support it. Would it be possible to do that?
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am told it won’t be ready for two weeks. I think we should —
Cllr MATTHEWS: I don’t want to vote on something without having the information. I’ll be abstaining.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It looks like we will have to vote on it because it goes down if we don’t vote on it. Cllr Fortune you have proposed it, Cllr Whitmore you seconded it. A I am in trouble again.
(a vote was taken)
Cllr WINTERS: You can do it from the back again.
(the vote continued).
MS GALLAGHER: 14 for, 13 against, one not present and four abstaining.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It’s agreed.
Cllr VANCE: Could I just find out what position in regard to the (INAUDIBLE).
Cllr VANCE: What’s the position in regard to that land now? I know what the thing says, but I am just saying, it goes out to public display, I know that, but will the officials at the Council then continue with putting an application to board in regard to that land.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Yes. Cllr VANCE: Okay.
Cllr FORTUNE: I wasn’t paying attention and I apologise, what is Cllr Vance asking.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: What happens next.
Cllr FORTUNE: What did he actually say.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It goes out for public display. Right.
Cllr VANCE: It has to come back to the Council then in September, is it?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: October.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can we go on to amendment number 15, Christopher Fox, Cllr Fox’s motion and the seconder is? Cllr Ruttle.
Cllr FOX: Thank you Chair. Just thanks Chairman, these are in relation to the listing of public right of ways. I know it’s on the foot of a ministerial directive and to say that I am not jumping up and down about listing right of ways is an understatement. But it appears that there are a number of them that are uncontested which I would be prepared to accept the Chief Executive’s recommendation on including them, because they’re uncontested. However there are two that are contested, and still some detail to be worked out. I know number seven the alignment of the right of way is contested, and number – the new one between seven and eight, it has no number actually, the Ballymahon to barn that sling began lane, ^^ that was subject to a court case and it is legally questionable. So I would propose that we accept the Chief Executive’s recommendation with the exception of seven and the one between seven and eight, the new public right of way, and that we would exclude those two. Thank you Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. Cllr Ruttle, you are the seconder.
Cllr RUTTLE: I am the seconder yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Any issues with that.
Cllr MITCHELL: Could I ask do these – I don’t have any particular problems with the two non acceptances, but what I want to know is the walk from Wicklow Town to Greystoness that identified as a plight of way and supported by what we are voting on here? It’s a very important and frequently used public right of way beside the rail line, and I don’t want to vote for things which would take that out, but it’s not clear for me here that – whether it’s in or whether it’s out.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s up to Newcastle. Wicklow to Newcastle.
Cllr MITCHELL: Is a plight of way.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Is listed here as a public right of way.
Cllr MITCHELL: What about from Newcastle to Greystones? DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We were putting in things here that were simple, and were straightforward, and the one from Newcastle to Greystones would not be as straightforward, it would be going over a rail bridge and various things.
Cllr MITCHELL: Okay, that’s fine, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone in agreement? Amendment number 16, Councillor Shay Cullen. Proposed amendment and a seconder for that please.
Cllr WINTERS: I’ll second it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Chief Executive has no objection to the proposed amendment. Everyone agreed? – agreed? Number 17 proposed by Councillor Pat Kennedy, seconded by myself. Proposed amendment rezone 1.6 acres at Aughrim lower from employment existing residential use to active open space. Cllr Kennedy?
Cllr KENNEDY: Can you hear me Cathaoirleach? It’s to propose the increasing amount of active open space to provide for a community recreational needs for the area. There is a need for more land to arrange sporting community — Aughrim community sports and leisure provide for the needs much the entire community. ^^ the net amount of zoned employment land is sufficient to provide for the employment needs of Aughrim into the future, including the employment growth target for Aughrim of 162 jobs between 2011 and 2028. The open space that’s currently used by the Aughrim community have 584 persons playing on that field. There is a school population in Aughrim of 291 pupils. Now while I appreciate most of the numbers have already been included in the figures I have just given of 584, not all are included. This field is used day and night by the community and they need extra space. The Council purchased this site some years ago. For somewhere in the region of about 480,000 I think. But I am not accurate on that, but I think that’s fairly accurate. They did provide 39 houses, the river field estate. If we divide the 39 houses into 500,000 or that, it’s around 12,000 per site paid. In my figures, if my figures are accurate. This equates to about 12,000. So I believe I am not devaluing the Council’s property in any way. There are still 39 acres of zoned industrial land, employment land in Aughrim, which will provide for the future target growth of 162 jobs between 2011 and 2028. I believe by rezoning this land to active open space, we are now investingin the children of the community of Aughrim.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. I am down as the seconder and I fully support what Cllr Kennedy is proposing.
CE: Thank you Cathaoirleach. I think we have a similar situation in a different format here that we had the discussion on there of the rocks. What we have here is a proposal to de-zone employment and residential lands that the Council have as a land bank in Aughrim. I think it would be better if the community discussed with the County Council the possibility of acquiring &nb land elsewhere in the village rather than the Council creating a precedent with regard to lands that have been earmarked for two very important issues: Expansion possibly of the existing employment at that location, the possibility of the Local Authority doing something locally with regard to incubation units, and also the need for residential housing. Like when the – in the larger report pointed out that they already had nine acres of land at this location. And the Council recently leased a further two acres of land to them. So they have eleven acres of land in the middle of the village available to them. Along with many play areas within housing estates that are in quite a small village and an attractive village. I think it would be problematic if the Council are going to look at de-zoning lands. If this was a developer’s lands it would not be touched. We have heard all the arguments about this is a public space, where the mind – we are the minders of this for the future generations but we are also the minders for employment and residential, and we have already facilitated the community group that’s – Cllr Kennedy wants to facilitate. I do think it should be sent back Cathaoirleach to Arklow Municipal District to see if there is other lands available rather than de-zoning Council property.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: Just I agree with the Chief Executive. I just don’t think that we should be handing over Council assets to basically to what the current community wants without any view to what any future community might want. And I think that at the moment the land is – it’s being used as a community almost without it actually being zoned that, but I don’t think we should de-zone it and right into person pet youth what is happening. ^^.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Kennedy again?
Cllr KENNEDY: Just to inform Cllr Winters she is actually quite wrong. The community are not using this 1.6 acres because it’s covered in bushes about six foot tall. You could hardly walk through T in relation to the land, the two acres that the community have off of the country at the moment is a flood plain. There would be three and four foot of water on it when the river swells. I don’t believe I am devaluing the Council’s lands here. I wouldn’t do that. I think the Council have investigated 39, have built 39 houses there which I think they’ve got good value. It works out about 12,800 per site. This site has sat there for a long time. Nothing has happened with it. I don’t believe I am devaluing the plotter at all. – property at all. Just on a point of clarification, I think the Chief Executive mentioned there it might be used for further housing development. So they should be rezoning this land for housing? Because I think he has something in there to regularise the West corner of that from housing to industrial. Maybe I could get some clarification on that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cathaoirleach, we – Cllr Kennedy is right, it was squared up to be employment land. We have done all our calculations there and there will be other ones coming up now for housing shortly. And there is a deficit of land needed for employment in Aughrim. When you actually do the amount of active open space needed and we use basic policies called the six acre rule, and there is more than enough active open space designated generally in Aughrim. And I am – this will be comparing to every other village and settlement in the county. You can see the calculations there. But we did square off thatt down as residential land there and it didn’t make any sense and that was squared off to make it into employment land.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Tommy Cullen.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, if the community in Aughrim that Cllr Kennedy is representing, and talking for, are one of the best community groups in the whole country. They’re outstanding. And if this is to be a benefit to the town of Aughrim and they clean up what effectively is a derelict site, and the Council still has an abundance of land, and this is going to be for a community gain, we are not giving it away, I think Cllr Kennedy and anyone who knows the Aughrim and the people of Aughrim, and the great work they’ve done would have to, I think, speak in favour of Cllr Kennedy. I know the people of Aughrim, and other Councillors here do as well and if they’re behind something, and they’re behind Cllr Kennedy in this, I think Cllr Kennedy is speaking for the people of Aughrim.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor, I think at that stage we have our proposer, Cllr Kennedy and a seconder and myself. So we will take a vote because there is some opposition to it.
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: That’s 27 for, three against and two not present.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you, we will move on now to Councillor amendment number 18, proposed by Councillor Pat Kennedy and seconded by the invisible man here, Sylvester Bourke. So I need a seconder now. Shay Cullen, Councillor Shay Cullen. Cllr Kennedy.
Cllr KENNEDY: Cathaoirleach, this is four acres on the kill clone road that’s currently zoned in the current plan, and under the proposal at the moment, it is to de-zone this piece of ground. What I am proposing is this go back in as an R special for four houses. There is sufficient land there for four houses. The site is not remote from the kill clone road. There is mains water up that road. There is main sewage line up that road. I know the sewage has to be upgraded in Aughrim and there is main lighting up that road. I can go into further details if you need me to in a minute if you want me to, but at the moment I’ll leave it that I am proposing it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Yes Chairman, I would just like to concur with Cllr Kennedy, the first zoning in the.
Cllr WINTERS: Can we just have a mike please.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: The current zoning in the current Development Plan would cater for a lot more than four houses, so I think what is proposed on this site of four acres is effectively one house per acre, and I think that’s a fair compromise from Cllr Kennedy, so I would be in favour of what is proposed, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just I am obviously fully supportive of it myself. Is there anyone has a problem with it?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I’ll just come in on this one and in fact the next one as well. These do go over the amount of houseingthat we have computed and needed for Aughrim, but they don’t significantly go over, I don’t think it would actually trigger a core strategy problem with the department, so we are not in favour of them, but we don’t thunk we will actually have any significant down sides were they going over the core strategy figures. That applies to this one and the next one.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is that agreed? Amendment number 19, proposed by Pat Kennedy and seconded by Councillor Tommy Annesley and the proposed amendment is to zone 1.9 hectares of land add kill clone from unzoned rural to five units.
Cllr KENNEDY: Can I take it that the last one is agreed —
Cllr WINTERS: Can we please use the mikes?
Cllr KENNEDY: This piece of land was zoned 1.4 hectares in the current plan, and it’s been de-zoned in the new plan, so it’s going on what the Director has said, can I take this one will be accepted as is without holding up the meeting.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Annesley is the seconder.
Cllr ANNESLEY: I’ll second that. CATHAOIRLEACH: Is it agreed? Agreed. Thank you. We are on to amendment number 20 proposed by Councillor Tommy Cullen and seconded by?
Cllr TIMMINS: Could I come in for a second Chairman? Just briefly, my family own lands in Baltinglass town so in the interest of transparency, I would just like to have that recorded and I would like to absent myself from this vote or any discussions in relation to this item. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you Councillor. Who is the seconder for this? Cllr Doran.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, as you see, anyone can see on this site, this is one —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can you turn on your —
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: This is one – this is one field and there is the Avondale estate there and across is the Deer Park estate and a couple of hundred metres from the school and this was originally recommended by Mr Hooper as a residential area for residents and it is a prime residential area in Baltinglass and to put an industrial estate right in the middle of a these housing estates would have quite a devastating effect on them. And I don’t think it’s suitable at the least this is a purely residential area. And I think grossly unfair to the existing residents that if this went ahead now, I would propose that it said another 43 houses, I don’t mind if that residential density is reduced, but I don’t agree with putting an industrial estate in right beside those housing estates. I think it would be very unfair to those residents and that’s why I am proposing that amendment Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Are you seconding it Cllr Doran.
Cllr DORAN: I’ll second that —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Turn on your mike there please.
Cllr DORAN: What Cllr Cullen said, I think it wouldn’t be a good idea to have an industrial area in the field, it comes on to the main road, and I can’t understand why you would put industry in there. It’s – the other half of the field is already residential. Across the road from it is residential. So I think it would be …
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Gerry O’Neill.
Cllr O’NEILL: I would agree with both Councillors there but I would remind them a couple of months ago here, they pursued the idea of putting industrial land in the top of residential land in Blessington. So it’s a bit of talking out of both sides of the jaw. I would support it generally, yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thank you. Councillor John Snell.
Cllr SNELL: Thanks Cathaoirleach, just a point of clarification. I note that the 43 units or even if it is reduced, it’s not in line with the core strategy on the housing targets for Baltinglass, so therefore it over exerts what’s already there, so does the 43 units or less, whatever is eventually given the green light there, does that have to come off someone else’s land.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman, I am aware, I generally always support residential housing, but having a look at this, this is the biggest zoning now that’s been proposed in this Development Plan, anywhere in the county that I am aware of, anything new. And if people don’t want employment in the area, and like it would be probably better and – given that the housing is catered for in the current plan and there is enough land to cater for the needs of Baltinglass, it might be better if this land wasn’t zoned at all then if that would be the attitudef people don’t want employment on it, the residential, I think will be challenged by the department and the regional assembly because it goes way over what the needs are for this particular area as well. Certainly, it’s the biggest zoning that I am aware of. They could – if the official would correct me on that, new zoning that’s come in throughout the whole county. I think other ones are two and three here, which are acceptable enough. This is fairly major now in a small settlement and certainly I would ask members to be very cautious about this now when they’re voting on it, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Vincent Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Chairman, thank you. There is already a lot of land already zoned in Baltinglass for industrial development and a lot of that land is actually not built on or no sign of it being built on either. We are conscious of the core strategy we adopted back here some time ago. I am conscious that the last line in there is that this particular land is zoned agricultural, so in that respect, it is strange that we come in here today, particularly in view of the fact that we have the Director wanting to take out land all along the N11, and also up in Rath East as well. So here we are putting in additional land for zoning that was actually zoned agricultural, so as Cllr Vance said there, it’s a possibility this could remain zoned agricultural into the future.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I’ll let the Director in please.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Yeah, this goes – adds 12% on to the housing above the core strategy. I think this is significant. And I think in a case like this, as Cllr Snell, what we had to do in all the other areas was to take out existing zoned land to balance the books as it were. Having listened the proposer though, it seems to be the biggest problem isn’t the need more land but they didn’t want employment there. Now there is employment all around there already, so I can’t necessarily understand that, but obviously the local community might see it differently. While we are obliged to calculate exactly the housing and have a core strategy and stick within that, we are not obliged at the moment with employment land. I think that might be coming with the new national planning framework. We can take out the employment land at this stage with impunity. But I don’t think we can add in more housing land without going around and maybe taking out an equivalent number of houses on some existing zoned land there. That would be my advice to the members.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Ruttle.
Cllr RUTTLE: Cathaoirleachf the issue appears to be that industrial land on top of the Allen dale estate, can we not go back to, I thunk it was mentioned agricultural zoning on that land, if we have enough housing. The Director says we have enough industrial already.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: No, actually – what I actually said was we are not obliged, we do the calculations for industrial. But to be honest, they are very, very crude because you can actually have one business with very high dense employment and another business with hardly anyone employed in the place. They are crude calculations. We have done our best to estimate the land. What I am saying is we are not obliged by law, which we are with housing. We have to balance it up exactly. We are not obliged by law on the employment. You can take it up with impunity.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: Chairman, it would be helpful if we leave it as it is, agricultural zoning.
Cllr VANCE: I’ll support that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Happy enough? Anyone against that?
Cllr WINTERS: Just put it back to agricultural?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Well, we don’t actually have an agricultural zoning you, what people call unzoned land agriculture. So maybe the proposal might be to remove this zoneingfrom the plan.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: What would it be then?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Unzoned as it is at present.
Cllr VANCE: I’ll propose that Chairman.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay. Is that agreed by everyone. The next one is Cllr Cullen again, amendment number 21 and that’s to amend and extend, a seconder for that please before we start.
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: For what.
CATHAOIRLEACH: For your next one, we have a seconder.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The heritage one. MS GALLAGHER: Page 31. DI.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Chief Executive has no objection to that. He has a seconder, Grainne McLoughlin. No objection. Hey Tommy don’t conk out there, will you! Is everyone in agreement with that before he changes his mind?
Cllr RUTTLE: Just, that has no affect on Stratford lodge school, it’s outside their boundary?
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: It’s outside their boundary.
Cllr RUTTLE: The old Abbey, the church and the rectory?
Cllr Tommy CULLEN: It doesn’t even … Cllr RUTTLE: Oh yeah, we are culture vultures, we are good for that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, if we could go ahead now, we are okay with that one, we go ahead to amendment number 22, page 33, this is proposed by Councillor Pat Doran and seconded by Councillor Vincent Blake. No objections. Everyone has read it I am sure, there is no problem with that? Can we take it that everyone is agreeing to that?
Cllr RUTTLE: Everyone has gone fierce agreeable there. Amendment number 23, it’s proposed by Councillor Christopher Fox, who seconded that. Oh he has just vanished there. We will go by it and come back.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s agreed anyway, we have no objection, so, it just needs a seconder.
MS GALLAGHER: Is there a seconder.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor John Ryan. Amendment number 24 —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The Chief Executive doesn’t object, but is everyone else agreed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Oh everyone is agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Sorry, wasn’t listening.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Amendment number 24, Pat Vance proposed, who is seconding that one, Enniskerry town plan, is there someone to second it.
Cllr DUNNE: I’ll second it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: John Ryan came up here, we will give it to him as he was the former Chairman. All right.
MS GALLAGHER: Agreed?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Page 38 —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Can I say here that the chief objective only has a slight objection to it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: There is no objection. It’s proposed by Councillor Vincent Blake and seconded by Councillor Pat Doran.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s only one house.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is it agreed by everyone? 26. Councillor – proposed by Councillor Shay Cullen, seconded by —
Cllr LAWLESS: Myself. It’s agreed now, see the Chief Executive is supportive, so is everyone in agreement? Just we are on to 27 here, proposed by Councillor Tom Fortune, seconded by Councillor Grainne McLoughlin, the Newcastle societiment plan. Councillor — there is no recommendation on that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Can I just say on these ones generally Cathaoirleach, is that we don’t see the point of extra land but it is very, very small in scope and it won’t affect the core strategy. That more or less goes for all three of them. We are not enthusiastic, but you are entitled to do it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: 28’s the same.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is that agreed? Just a second here, 29, is 29 agreed with everyone? Yeah. Number 30, proposed by Councillor Joe Behan, who is that seconded by?
Cllr VANCE: I’ll second that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Pat Vance. Over to you Joe, Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: Similar to this morning Cathaoirleach, I am just really trying to reflect the situation on the ground. In fact there is an existing planning permission on this site. It was zoned in the last Development Plan. The proposal now is to more or less de-zone it. Allowing for the fact that we have a new system of zoning now in these small villages where there are three general principles, or three general areas, I think it’s a reasonable proposal and particularly given the fact that the planning permission already has some time to run, I think it brings the plan into disrepute if we don’t zone it. On that basis I propose it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Who seconded that? Do you want to say something Pat.
Cllr VANCE: I’ll second that Chairman for the same reasons as that, there is an existing planning permission on it and really and truly like, I’ll support it all the existing planning permissions in the existing Development Plan that have been recommended for to take out. I think it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we should let it run the course of – the length of its planning permission before we have a look at it again. I think the next Council could have a look at it in the next plan, but I think it’s reasonable to leave it there as it is.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: I have family members who work for this company so I just want to withdraw.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You can go back out again! &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: Councillor Shay Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: Thanks Chairman. Yes, I suppose I would have some issues with this particular zoning. I would ask members just to have a look at the map first of all on page 44, which clearly identifies the piece of land outside the village boundary. And I would just like to just add a few facts to the issue here. The land in question is reclaimed bog land outside the village boundary. The block of land is isolate ed from the village being surrounded by farmland, not zoned. There is already a commercial planning permission grantedin 2008 and extended in 2013, up to 2019. By looking for secondary development zoning, this could provide for a mix of uses, industrial, residential, employment, community and recreational south side the village boundary. A condition of the permission is open active space to be transferred to redundant wood athletic club, according to the developer, land was transferred in 2009, but in 2016, seven years later, searches of the Land Registry office by the Planning Department showed no transfer of land has been completed. ^^ the Roundwood and district athletic club have purchased separate land within the village confines and have a live planning application on this land at the moment. I have to declare an interest in Roundwood and district athletic club with a strong family connection with the club. I have an interest in the club at heart and by removing the secondary zoning that will not have a detrimental affect on the club, they have purchased land and the land in question is guaranteed to them under the existing planning permission if it happens, which is important to state. I feel we are not penalising the developing by removing the zoning. The developer has his planning permission. My concerns of having further commercial activity on these lands that are situated outside the village boundary are based on the fact that it’s vitally important that we use the best planning practice for all our towns and villages, not just now but into the future. If we allow secondary zoning on this land, we could provide residential, possibly in the future, as well as employment outside the village boundary and the surrounded unzoned farmland and if we allow this zoning on land that’s so far outside the village, and past the boundary that could be used as a precedent for other.standalone developments throughout the county in the future. I would like to conclude by saying there is sufficient lands zoned within the village and secondary zoning on this land is unnecessary for the growth of the village. I would ask that this proposal is rejected on the facts that I have presented to you. Thank you Thank you. CAT DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Very briefly Cathaoirleach, I think the management’s view on this from the word go when it was proposed first of all hasn’t really changed. It is removed from the village. It’s very, very exposed &nb visually. But we were mindful of the members were very keen at the time to get the athletics club fixed up and a planning permission did follow. But we have already stateedin the Chief Executive’s report how we feel about this at this stage, and I suppose it is a bit different. Before Roundwood had a traditional plan and we found with all these smaller towns that when you actually designate each bit of land differently and it’s very, very difficult when land comes on the market, or it gets sold, so we put them into primary, secondary and tertiary is strategic land bank more or less, but it means on the secondary, it’s not just limited to employment, it can be limited to any sort of activities at all. That’s just probably one of the collateral damages of doing these different type of plans for the smaller settlements.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan again.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, just in relation to the last point that the Director made, I mean it’s hardly fair to penalise a person who is a landowner by the fact that we have this new system of three zonings, or three areas. Effectively that’s saying that that person can be disadvantaged because now there is a more flexible system. They or other people didn’t ask for a more flexible system. What I am saying is they’re asking for a recognition of the reality on the ground which is not only did the last Council zone this piece of land, not only did the Council subsequently grant planning permission, but the Roundwood athletic club despite what previously has been already stated by Councillor Shay Cullen have according to this submitted a document supporting this zoning again as they did on the last occasion. So on that basis, again for reasons of consistency, it’s really reflecting an exising – existing permission granted by this Council and a zoning decided on by the last Council. On that basis, I would like to call a vote on it. Ltd there is three other people who would like to speak. Cllr Mitchell.
Cllr MITCHELL: While I don’t know the exact site here or the athletics club, it seems this was zoned with the idea they’d get land out of it, and that they haven’t got land out of it, and therefore it does question whether we should, I don’t think we should still go ahead with this. If there is planning permission here, they can complete whatever they had, but I don’t think we should be encouraging it if the athletic club has not been assisted by this, as seems to be the case.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Would I be right in saying Chairman that the existing planning permission contains a caveat that buildings can’t be built without an agreement with the athletics club. Would that be correct? If that’s correct and we are just saying leave the planning permission there, because you still have to have the agreement from the athletics club. I haven’t been in touch with them at all in this. I think it’s reasonable and consistent that where an existing planning permission exists on a site, we leave it that way, we don’t touch it. Because the gentleman that owns this land has to comply with the conditions that are on it at the moment and that is in regard to talking to the athletics club, or maybe there might be another sporting organisation that we might be delighted to support in regard to it as well. Effectively the same conditions are on it, so effectively he can’t build a building on that until the community has been satisfied. That’s as I understand it anyway.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Cullen.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: I would like to come back in with a couple of points there. First of all where the site is, there is no services. It’s outside the area of services for the village. Secondly if the developer activates his planning permission, it’s a.
Cllr WINTERS: For the athletic club and the developer, there is no issue there. At the moment he hasn’t activated, there is nothing happening. The athletic club have gone and purchased and I want to emphasise purchased other land within the village confines. And if he activates his planning permission, they’ll have two lots of land, they’ll have the land they’ve purchased and they’ll also have the land that has been gift today them, if it happens. Now there is some question whether it’s going to happen or not, but that’s where we are te at at the moment. I just want to clarify those in case anyone had any doubts on that. The final point I would like to make is that is one side of what we are talking about. The other side of this is we are opening up this site for further development into the future. Whilst we have enough zoned land within the village boundary. And that’s a very important point to note. We could have a situation where all of our villages and towns have outside developments with regards to ribbon development outside our villages. That’s not what we want I am passionate about protecting the fabric of the village that I am from and live in and that’s &nb protecting where the developments occur. That’s why I feel so passionate about this
CATHAOIRLEACH: Des wants to come in here.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Just to clarify, because Cllr Vance had stated that whatever was there before still stands. It wouldn’t necessarily because what was in before was an actual airline – Action Area Plan and part of that was there would be an athletics club and there would be phasing that would come in at a certain stage. What’s here now is just secondary zoning as such. (Mark) sorry, I apologise, I missed that, sorry. So this would be the same. I apologise, yeah, I got that wrong. So what Cllr Behan actually is proposing is what was in the last plan more or less. Fine, sorry about that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are obviously, everyone is not in agreement on this, so we are going to have to take a vote.
Cllr DORAN: Chairman, what are we actually voting on now? CATHAOIRLEACH: We are voting as it says there.
Ms WALSH: To zone this land.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan and Cllr Vance.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s on page 44 and 45
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: 12 for, nine against, eight not present and three abstaining.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Okay, we are on to amendment number 31. Proposed by Councillor Stephen Matthews. Who is seconding that one?
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I’ll second that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews? Oh, there is no objection, so we are okay. Everyone in agreement? Thank you. Amendment number 32, Councillor Shay Cullen, again the Chief Executive, no objection, seconder for that please? Who seconded it.
Cllr DUNNE: I’ll second it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: There is no issue with that, so you can stop talking Shay.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone is in agreement anyway, are they? We have done 33. Now that’s them ones. Now Des, come in Des.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Congratulations.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Very haven’t finished yet. You must be coding yourself, there is another 54 here yet.
Cllr FORTUNE: Chairman, a five minutes break.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just let Des explain what we are about here.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cathaoirleach, there is about 88 odd amendments here which have been proposed by the Chief Executive, of which, this one here, and of which obviously the members amended, well you had about 34 all together, but about 30 of them were basically amoanedments of the Chief Executive’s which leaves about 50. These are ones which generally there is not much dissent on, and so maybe if we took them five at a time, and we can ask anyone with any objections if they want to change them, or we can just – myself and Sorcha, preferably Sorcha can give you a rough idea of what they are.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I didn’t study them last night. You can go ahead on it.
Ms WALSH: You have had it for two months.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do you want to break for five minutes.
CATHAOIRLEACH: If you could, Tom was looking for a break. Will he will do five and then break for five minutes. We are going ahead with the first five. Do you want to talk.
Ms WALSH: We will start with numbers one to five, if you have all got the thin document on the white paper, it’s on page ten, where we are starting, is anybody missing this? Number one is on foot of a submission from National Transport Authority, the National Transport Authority has asked us to update our introductionry section of the Development Plan that describes their current strategy because as you know it was amended between us writing the draft plan and this phase. The text in blue is proposed to be struck out and the text in red is from their new strategy. It’s literally cut and paste from their new strategy. It’s what they say is their position and strategy for County Wicklow. Cut and paste directly from the NTA, rep case from their strategy.
Cllr FORTUNE: Just clarification on that, about two meetings ago we had a meeting neither chamber and (INAUDIBLE) the executive were ultra concerned about the NTA and their whole approach to Wicklow and then there was a concern expressed at the time, the impact that might or mightn’t have on our Development Plan, and that seems to have fizzled out.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I’ll be very quick on that yeah. We are very concerned that the basic documents and the way they grew on the populations, basically were putting Wicklow and in fact the other Mid East counties down. We have been talking since to the NTA, the regional authority, and I am having a meeting with the department. I have emailed, had a few email correspondence. But unfortunately the law says that the National Transport Authority’s plan should be consistent with County Development Plans and regional strategies. Once they get their thing through, the regional strategy would have to be consistent with the NTA and we were concerned about that. We were hoping to get formal words from the department, we haven’t actually had a meeting with the principal planning advisor about that yet. We are still very concerned about that, but what the NTA stuff here is more descriptive, it’s not going into the figures of the strategy as such and it doesn’t affect that. It’s a good question.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: I, like Cllr Fortune, would have concerns and I am happy to hear the Director say that what we discussed here two meetings ago you don’t think is reflected in what we are doing in the County Development Plan. All of the concerns you raised that day but you are asking us now to accept in the County Development Plan, none of those concerns are impacted by this?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: No, no, not at all, this is more just a generic, what they’re doing with their strategy, not the basis of it.
Ms WALSH: Will we move on.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Will we agree that?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment two then, this was proposed by the maritime development group of the sea West County Wicklow Economic Think Tank and it’s just giving a better basis, page 13, C 113, that’s the maritime development group and it’s just grubbing the maritime development better in the plan. Okay.
Ms WALSH: Amendment number three is on foot of a submission from the regional authority, and what they’ve asked for is an extra table in the Development Plan outlining exactly where all the proposed new houses are going to go and set it out by town. We had just set out the total amount of new houses that would be needed in the county but hadn’t broken it down by town. So the main red table thaw see on page 15 is the result of their ask and it sets out where all the housing stock will be up to 2028.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Just on that one there now, there is a table 2.8, and I just, the shortfall of housing units in Newtown originally was, there was 216 surplus, and that’s now gone to 134 of a deficit. Is that correct. Ms WALSH: That’s on foot of the amendment that had been put into the draft plan which is to zone 250 hectares in Ballinahinch in Newtownmountkennedy which has now been withdrawn and the manage ser recommending against. Once that comes out, there is a shortfall of 134 units. In the draft plan, there was a surplus of 216. That shortfall will be addressed in the Newtown area plan. That table is reflect ago further amendment.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Okay, I understand.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Number four came from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, formally known as NRA, we talk about the upgrade of the N11 down as far Askill pedestrianer and they want to put it in down as far as Ashford. Ms WALSH: Number five again is on foot of the National Transport Authority flagging that they no longer have plans to bring the Luas to Fassaroe. And again this brings us back to our first point in our discussions with the NTA and so on. We – they asked us to take out all reference of Luas to Fassaroe and we are suggesting to you that you leave in reference Luas to Bray but put in the words or other mass transit. They’ve assured us they support the development of Fassaroe and they’ll find a way to service its transport needs even if it’s not by Luas, so we feel it’s essential to keep in that term “or other mass transit.”
Cllr WINTERS: I don’t know if we should be just agreeing with them en masse and saying we accept you are not going to bring the Luas and let’s go. It should still be the desire o of our County Development Plan that the Luas is brought to Fassaroe, Feane the NTA don’t really want it to happen ^^, if we aren’t looking for it and we aren’t demanding it, we have no chance of it ever happening, just because they want it taken out because it doesn’t suit their agenda, doesn’t mean we should have to do it just because it suits ours.
Ms WALSH: It says Luas or other mass transit, the Luas is left in there.
Cllr MITCHELL: I met with the Managing Director of Dublin Bus and he suggested that a suitable way of serving Fassaroe would be limited stop buses, which he said would be much quicker than the Luas to get into town, into Dublin. Obviously you have to decide where you are going with these, but he certainly stated that that would be a very good system, so maybe that’s something we should be asking for, but I suppose it’s covered by that general expression.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman it’s covered in this.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I see it there.
Ms WALSH: Are we agreed? So that’s five done they’re proposed by the Manager.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The amendment number six, the NTA want add breakdown, we had all the employment, Labour forces, existing jobs, etcetera, for the various levels of settlements, they want it broken down for all the settlements. On page 21, you see a big long table there in red. That’s what that’s about. It’s basically the same thing except it’s expanded. Agreed?
Cllr FORTUNE: Are we taking a break.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are just going to ten here because we are on a run here! &nbs
Ms WALSH: Number seven, we have already a policies in the plan that we will review the boundaries of all large and small villages and this is to expand this to include for rural cluster.
Cllr TIMMINS: Just a side issue, I would like to tighten up on that two year, I know you may have resource issues, a lot of people made submissions on village boundaries and they’re not being dealt with as part of this plan and we said we would deal with it over two years. When you say two years, when do you expect to have that done and when do we – could you bring that forward a bit.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We are meant to review the plan after two years on the basis presumably that the whole planned process has taken two years already, it would now be adopted around Christmas time, October, November. And then we are talking about two years after that. So we would start the process then about six months before that, would we Sorcha?
Cllr TIMMINS: I am just asking could it be made 12 months.
Ms WALSH: We have five plans to do, it really depends.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If we can we will.
Cllr TIMMINS: I would ask that you know, because there is an element of pushing it down the road. I appreciate resource issues, but just if it could be brought forward I would appreciate T.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If we get the local area plans and that depends on the work flow of the Council itself as well as our own resources but if we can do it, we will do it yeah.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Ruttle.
Cllr RUTTLE: A number of years ago here I resisted any proposal to abolish the rural clusters and I like Cllr Timmins would be anxious to look at them as rapidly as possible and establish the clear level of movements between rural clusters and large villages and items like that which are of concern to me.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: They’re in, we are just saying we will do them within two years. Amendment number eight came from Ard daily, they’re developers who made ^^ a very, very small thing that – will generally not be permitted and said will not be permitted.
Cllr FORTUNE: I am getting hung up on words.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: New developments depending on access …(Reading)… will generally not be permitted.
Cllr FORTUNE: That’s down to say a planner’s interpretation or who’s interpretation.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: A planner’s generally. Sometimes it makes sense. What it means is —
Cllr FORTUNE: It might make sense to the planner, it mightn’t make sense to the resident.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I appreciate that Councillor, but sometimes you might have a bit of land in a town and there is no other way of accessing it and it would be a good development and then you suddenly find the Development Plan doesn’t allow T it’s just giving you a bit of flexibility.
Cllr FORTUNE: Okay. But my concern Director is that the flexibility seems to be one-sided?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: You would be amazed.
Cllr FORTUNE: Would I? I don’t think so! &nbs
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Number nine is already — is that generally agreed?
Cllr FORTUNE: I’ll agree to the question mark! &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Behan.
Cllr BEHAN: I don’t want to delay matters, that will have to go out to public display, that generally.
Ms WALSH: Yeah.
Cllr BEHAN: I am reserving my position on that for a final decision.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment nine has already been dealt with in the Councillors’ ones. Number ten —
Cllr FORTUNE: Could I ask a general question. This won’t take long. Just you can see I went through the book at some level of reading, but I am just interested, the plan went on display on 5th October for ten weeks for people to put in submissions. The prescribed bodies like the Minister and the regional authority and An Taisce, when did they put in their submissions? When does the Minister and the regional authority An Taisce, when did they put in their submissions to this. Ms WALSH: The same as everyone else, in three weeks time when these are published. Cllr FORTUNE: You know when the plan went on display —
Ms WALSH: At the same time between November and February. The same public period as prescribed —
Cllr FORTUNE: They had to have it in by the same period, February.
Ms WALSH: That’s it, yeah.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: This is just technical, this is to take out that zoning for housing at Newtown? We haven’t actually taken it out as such, we have rezoned it but we didn’t actually take this out. Just say agreed! There is your ten Pat.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Do people want to take a break for five minutes.Ed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment number eleven came from a person called Triona Sheeran, it’s protection of residential amenity in transitional areas. It’s to cover between where one zone goes to another zone that residential needs to be protected. The chef executive roamedded to include that. Agreed?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Page 26, Failte Ireland has come back to us with a number of suggestions with regard to their tourism strategies and addressing tourism in our economic development strategy. In this part of the plan is our strategy for economic development and they pointed out that we didn’t include tourism recreation in that part of the planning, though it’s in other parts. We are happy to do that. Just a few parts on how important tourism and recreation are in Wicklow’s economy.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 13 from An Taisce, and it’s about encouraging development brown field sites they wanted to change subject to no adverse impacts arising on the locality and they had a different wording, which we thought was superior and we are recommending it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We have done 14. Ms WALSH: 15 is on page 31, again on foot of Failte Ireland, this is in the economic development chapter and it’s just to make it clear that the specific policy with regard to tourism is more fully addressedin chapter 7 of the plan rather than the chapter on economic development in case anyone is looking for it there, just a technical clean-up.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 16 is from Roadstone, and the objective is to facilitate the exploitation of Wicklow’s natural resources, and they want to put in to support and facilitate the exploitation. Agreed?
Ms WALSH: Number 17, just from the Minister wants us to make reference in our retail strategy that the forthcoming regional spacial and economic strategy will include retail and that we will vary the plan when that so happens. Agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 18 from the Minister of the environment again, objectives for — hang on. Cllr FORTUNE: What are we agreeing on 17. Ms WALSH: —
CE: The piece in red.
Ms WALSH: Where it says regional and economic strategy, making reference to the fact that there is going to be a new regional strategy forthcoming and if it’s in conflict with our own regional strategy, we will amend ours as we are required to do under the Planning Act.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right Councillor.
Cllr FORTUNE: They’re just telling us what their plans are.
Ms WALSH: That there will be a new retail strategy for the region and we should make reference to it in our Development Plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I think 18, 19 and 20 have been dealt with already. 21 Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and they wanted us to take out limited exception, large retail …(Reading)… prop foesed” they want that taken out, we accept that at this stage. The idea of retail warehouses near the roads is kind of gone.
Ms WALSH: Number 22 is, we have a current policy in the Development Plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: This is from Tesco by the way.
Ms WALSH: We have a policy in the current Development Plan and the Draft Development Plan that large convenient stores can only have household goods, irons, cushions as well as clothes and shoes and that type of thing, what Tesco have indicated that that would be, they feel that would be contrary to the retail planning guidelines and it shouldn’t be in the plan at all. However we want to stand over that and keep within the plan but we are suggesting that it should only apply where these big super stores are outside the core retail area. We haven’t fully accede today their request, we have just —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If there was one on Main Street Arklow, Wicklow, Greystonest would be all right there, it’s part of the retail. ^^ next one is Transport Infrastructure Ireland, we have a general presumption against outside regional shopping facilities and they want to put in particular those located close to new planned national roads. Agreed?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Who is they being.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
Ms WALSH: Number 24 is from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, they want to make reference that the TII have a policy on service areas. Just to reference that in our Development Plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The next one — is that agreed. The next amendment on page 37, amendment 25 from Fáilte Ireland, they just put in some extra text, which —
Ms WALSH: Additional text to reflect their existing updated strategy that they’ve developed in only the last couple of years.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Agreed?
Ms WALSH: 26 is the same.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Sorry.
Cllr FORTUNE: I don’t know what we are agreeing, maybe I am stupid.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You are certainly not stupid.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Close proximity to Dublin offers …(Reading)…
Cllr FORTUNE: I am not being rude, what caught my attention Director was it says in the second paragraph while Wicklow is a particularly attractive location for day trippers, that’s one of the big challenges we have from a tourism. &nbs
Ms WALSH: So additional enhancement is required to get them to say longer.
Cllr FORTUNE: We are racing through it, I am not taking everything on board, I don’t know what I am agreeing to.
Cllr FORTUNE: I am sorry if that upsets anybody.
Cllr RUTTLE: You could have looked at it.
Cllr FORTUNE: &nbs Did look at it. You know every single word in this Councillor, do you? I don’t believe you what’s more.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will come back to it, let’s leave it there. Tommy we will come back to it in a few minutes.
Ms WALSH: Essentially Bord Failte are the experts in the tourism area, they’ve written a number of strategies in the last number of years. We are writing a Development Plan not as tourism planners or tourism specialists. They’ve suggested some extra text that they feel would enhance and clarify our existing policies, particularly where for example you can see on page 38, we make reference to the Kildare Wicklow destination grand tour. Their Ireland’s Ancient East strategy has superceded that. Most of these are places where they’re giving us an update on their strategy or proposing enhanced text, putting it in a better way than we could ever put it. But none of it is changing the meaning of the policies, it’s all background, the background where the land use tourism strategy comes from that’s in this development strategy plan. We have taken the text that’s proposed in red is word for word what Failte Ireland have suggested we have in the plan. So we are taking their guidance on board with that being the experts on tourism rather than ourselves.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: That applies for up to 28.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Murphy wants to come in here.
Cllr MURPHY: I can see what you are doing, but I think like every county is different and whatever, and I mean we really need to understand that County Wicklow tour ris some lobbying all this as well, and that – exactly what Cllr Fortune said, I am very interested in tourism and Fáilte Ireland, but I want to see what benefit or not benefit this will be for Wicklow.
Ms WALSH: Number 25, 26 and 27 and 28, they’re essentially enhancing our existing policy and reflecting tourism, Failte’s actual policy, so our policies aren’t contradicting their policies. The Planning Section isn’t the tourism agency so, essentially it’s just improving the wording of our plan, rather than changing the policy. But there is nothing that they are proposing here that fundamentally alters our policy. It enhances it and makes it stronger because it aligns with theirs. But if people – I suppose Cathaoirleach people want time to read through this and come back to it again.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We will come back to 25 to 28. So we go on to 29 then. Which I think we did already. SPEAKER: On 29, we kept did we keep both of those. Ms WALSH: We have done 30. (^^ Mr Matthews).
Ms WALSH: Amendment 31, a policy in the existing Development Plan and in the Draft Development Plan to facilitate …(Reading)… an example is that is in the plan at the moment is Belmont Debbie men’s Delgany, a submission was received from the family there, and they indicated that isn’t the type of development they see themselves moving forward with. Our recommendation is to take them out as an example of that type of development.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is everyone okay with that?
Cllr WALSH: What were you referring to there, amendment 31.
Ms WALSH: It’s part of Killruddery estate. Agreed?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 32. Again this is very, very similar, we have a currents policy in the plan to support the development of craft and artisan centres at established tourist facilities. An example that’s given is Sexton garden centre. The Sexton family made a submission and said that’s not the nature of the development they’d hope to go forward with, they’re looking at more of a row tail type development and Avoca hand weavers more sort of thing so we are recommending we take that out as an example of a craft and artisan centre because that’s not what they want to do there.
Cllr WALSH: Could I ask the question why we are taking that one out in particular. DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: They asked us to.
Ms WALSH: Both the policy T 28 and T 30 are used as examples for the policy that are there, T 28 was tourism enterprises on farms, T 30 was arts and crafts, they both had an example of a place, the type of thing that was intughted and both of those families have come in and said that’s not their model that they’re intending to move forward with. CAT brine is that agreed? 33 then ^^ from Dave Balesty.
Ms WALSH: He made reference that we should be encouraging blue ways in the county. Ms WALSH: 34 is done.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: 35 is the National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland. They just have some amendments which we thought clarified it somewhat better. But transport which we identified through the carrying out …(Reading)… agencies.” The bus rapid transit to Bray Dart. We have “or other mass transit to Bray town centre, brain train station and Fassaroe. Continue to work with Iarnrod Eireann and they want to put in and the NTA. We have again taken out bus rapid transit, put down other mass transit. And to work with Bus Eireann and the NTA is added in. They’re fairly basic stuff.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Murphy wants to come in there.
Cllr MURPHY: On two of those bullet points, I just see to enhance existing parking facilities and or the improvement of bus links to train stations in Bray, Greystones, Wicklow and Arklow. I don’t know about the other three towns but Arklow has not one accessible bus stop in the sense of there has to be a specific type of kerb for an accessible bus. There are accessible buses coming through town but they won’t take wheelchair users at the bus stops because of the kerbing. And I have inquired about that, and they’ve told me that it is part of the County Council’s requirement, whatever, so I think a bit of research needs to go in that. And also since I became a councillor seven years ago, I have been lobbying for bus shelters in Arklow and in other areas of our municipal – and I know Cllr Kennedy has as well and we have been told that there is no funding for that at all. And that it’s part of Wicklow County Council as well. And on many occasions we got correspondence on that – correspondence on that, so that needs to be stretched or highlighted or whatever. Isn’t that right Cllr Fitzgerald.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I do agree with you, we have been on about that for the last five or six years, but that’s not the function of the Council to provide bus shelledders, that’s Bus Eireann.
Cllr MURPHY: And Bus Eireann will not provide them.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We have to stand out in the rain all the time.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The roads department I am sure can get on to the NTA about it.
Cllr MURPHY: For seven years I have been lobbying and each Cathaoirleach in the County Council has got the same letter, standard letter, back over the seven years, and they’re not providing them and that’s it. And I think in the town where there is six or seven bus shelters, we have only got one. One.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Matthews.
Cllr MATTHEWS: T R 3 relates purely to bus services, the strike out there, we still have it covered somewhere about pedestrian linkage. Ms WALSH: It’s in the design standards.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr McLoughlin.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: The T R 7 again, requiring the developers of large scale employment, residential development in a designation areas to provide feeder bus service. Well they tried that in Charlesland and it didn’t work. Now you can’t get any bigger than Charlesland so we ended up in a situation there where you have for a fair few years very poor bus service that’s provided by the developers and then it was through intensive lobbying that we got a decent bus service. I think when you have large growth employment in residential areas, you have to have bus services from day one and it needs to be Dublin Bus. You are actually putting in there – it’s so vague. First of all what is large scale? Secondly what sort of bus service do they have to provide? How often? You know, depending on the population. I think that’s far too vague and I think if this large scale development we have to make sure there is a proper public bus service. From day one?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Yes Chairman, I think Cllr Murphy has made quite an important statement there, and I would suggest that in T R 2 where it says to allow for the construction of bus shelters that we could perhaps add in that incorporate disabled access after that to allow for the construction of bus shelters that incorporate disabled access. So I think we should acknowledge the wording to address what Cllr Murphy has raised. It is important.
Ms WALSH: If you just say the wording again that allows for disabled access to the bus? Okay.
Cllr FOX: To allow for the bus shelters – allow for the construction of bus shelters that incorporate access.
Cllr MURPHY: I know there is two buses comes through Arklow at the present day with wheelchair signs on them but they won’t allow you because there is not the proper kerbing to match their lift coming down, so the bus shelter is separate than the facility. Cllr FOX: I think we should give it some thought and put some proper – rather than any of us trying to come up with wording here.
Ms WALSH: We can do that for you afterwards.
Cllr FOX: Incorporate some proper wording.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: At the end we will say is changes consequent to the amendments, so we will do a change consequent to your suggestion there if that’s all right.
Ms WALSH: Cllr McLoughlin had a couple of questions there. Large scale development is actually defined in the plan, it just isn’t copied there for ease of legibility. It’s any development that enhances the building stock in a town by more than 10%. If you had a town with 5,000 people, you would have 2,000 houses let’s say. So any development of 200 houses or more would have to do proper transport study and look at how these people are going to be moved in and out of the town centre. Hopefully they’ll be close to the centre, but a good example would be Charles land. The transport providers have said they’re not going to lay on the bus the day one person moves into a house. There will have been critical mass to lay on buses and that’s just the economics of their service. That’s why we have a policy that the developer would be responsible for paying for the bus for a number of initial years until there is enough people living in the area that Dublin Bus or whoever would come in and service it. But we have brought this up with the NTA in our conversations we had with them recently and they’re very keen to be involved in the planning stage, the very outset of any large scale development, employment or residential, so they can see how the people there can be served much earlier on than they are at the moment. Can an existing route be diverted slightly to capture it. They’re very keen to get on board with that. The NTA are in charge of Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus and so on, so rather than going to them after a couple of years, and forcing them to change a route, that they all work up front.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: This whole idea that we end up in a situation where you have large scale development and we are relying on developers to provide routes, bus routes, it’s not acceptable.
Ms WALSH: It’s just a preliminary phase.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Could we put in how long the preliminary phase could be.
Ms WALSH: Three years.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I think that’s too long.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The chance of getting Dublin Bus to move in three years.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: We should be talking to them when planning permission is going in. We shouldn’t be waiting until three years in.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I understand that, but you don’t want a situation where a development can’t go ahead because Dublin Bus won’t talk.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I do appreciate that, but three years for people to be without any public transport would be wrong.
Cllr WINTERS: It encourages car use.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Particularly where we are talking about, Greystones, Bray, area where the infrastructure is so poor waiting for public transport. I think it should be reduced to two years.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I’ll take that on board. Amendment 36 from Transport Infrastructure Ireland. They wanted clarification that we promote the N11, M11 and that we hadn’t put in that access to the South East of the country is enhanced … And they have a few small little amendments there, is motor will be accommodated and then the upgrading of the N11, we had to glen of < Glen of the Downs and they’re putting in Ashford. And then upgrading of sub standard junctions, they would say there are no sub standard junctions left on the N11.
Cllr MITCHELL: That’s grand. Good.
Cllr SNELL: Just on a point of clarification there, are we saying there is no sub standard junctions on the N11 at all no? Ms
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I think it’s covered by the other bullet points.
Cllr SNELL: It’s just if we are taking out to improve safety and the capacity of the junctions, so we are removing that? If the road section are saying there is no sub standard junctions.
Saw Sr. I think the TII feel by saying upgrading the N11 to motorway status, to get to motorway status, you have to have a certain grade of junction. It was just repetition shoes to say upgrade junction and then upgrade to motorway, they both go hand in hand. It was cleaning it up more than anything, it doesn’t taking away an objective. Upgrading the junctions is just built into that.
Cllr SNELL: I believe you, thousands wouldn’t.
Ms WALSH: Amendment 37, which is to do with our policy on managing new means of access on to the national primary and secondary roads. We just make a statement that we will assess any application in accordance with the spacial planning and national road guidelines. TII have asked us to put a bit of explanatory text to say what does that actually mean. We are in agreement with that, because it actually enhances people’s understanding of how they’ll be assessed if they were to apply for permission for an entrance there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: Can I just ask national roads, point A, that covers secondary roads as well I presume? And it just says outside of the 60 kilometres an hour access shall be avoided. I mean there are circumstances where there are secondary roads where the only option to come out. Would it be feasible to say shall generally not be permitted, which would give a little bit of discretion to the planner that if there was a case —
Ms WALSH: Essentially the planner will be guided by and the NRA will be involved in the decision-making, the NRA guidelines would kick in. We felt it was more accurate to say what the &nb guidelines say, because that’s what dictates how the application is assessed.
Cllr FOX: Does that close the door on to any new access on to a regional road?
Ms WALSH: No, I don’t think it closes the door on “any.”
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Shall we put generally.
Ms WALSH: We can put generally be avoided.
Cllr FOX: Shall generally not be permitted, but it would leave a little bit of discretion for —
Ms WALSH: I think avoided means the same thing, try not to, but there will be some cases.
Cllr FOX: Generally be avoided okay.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Murphy.
Cllr MURPHY: Just to go back to amendment 36 there, I know they’re interlinked with 37, the provision of a third on the Arklow road, is that forward planning. An aspiration? Maybe it will be a reality.
Ms WALSH: Transport Infrastructure Ireland have asked us to take that out because it’s not a reality, however we are determined to keep it in the plan. The road was designed to have an extra width at that location for the future potential for another interchange there, so we feel we should stand our ground.
Cllr MURPHY: It’s one of the things I think that Arklow municipal needs to be forward planning because it is a necessity.
Ms WALSH: That’s why it’s there.
Cllr ANNESLEY: I want to support that the Council keep this in because the NRA have already made a major slip-up when they built the garage at the North of Wexford, just three miles South of Arklow, that was their ideal opportunity to put the extra slip way into Arklow. They’ve messed up on this one. I agree totally that the Council leave that in the Development Plan and ignore the NRA on this one saying take it out of it. Because we definitely need, as every Director knows, when we have a meeting in Arklow at three o’clock or two o’clock, they’re always late because of the traffic jams into Arklow. If we had a slip road in off the N11, it would make much more traffic sense and anyone travelling to Arklow would have to second that one. Thank you.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If that’s agreed with generally put in.
Ms WALSH: That’s 37 agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: 38 is the road side signage on the national routes, and we actually had our own policy a geu good few years ago but the meantime there has been a national policy which we are obliged to have regard to. So we are taking out our one and putting in their one.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Could I just make a point there —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Although we did mess with it a bit.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just to make a point there about there is no sign post there for Barndarrig, I think it’s been mentioned by a good few people. That doesn’t look like that’s not going to happen then, the NRA are not allowing us to do that on the N11. It has to go to them. But sure there is no sign whatsoever for the place.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: This is more tourism signs and information signs we want to put up.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox.
Cllr FOX: I understand the logic of this, but I would be fairly reluctant to take out our regional tourist references. I me a lot of our tourist businesses have signage already, but there are a number of pretty key tourist locations and businesses that are not sign posted. I know the national garden exhibition centre for example is one, has fought for a long time to get a sign on the N11. So I think the NRA or TII as they are now have sometimes let these tourist businesses down to a certain degree with a very restrictive policy. Look I understand we can’t have a proliferation of signs on the N11, but I would like to acknowledge our regional tourist attractions, and I would be hesitant enough to remove them from the County Development Plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: So are you proposing. Cllr FOX: Yes, I would yeah, I would be happy to leave references in there, like Wicklow Gaol, Killruddery, and our various key tourism sites if the members were in agreement.
Ms WALSH: What seems to be the bottom line is the NRA are the decision-making body when it comes to these signs. We could have whatever policy we want but they’ll use their policy to decide whether to let something, one of these tourists signs go on their posts, so it seemed, I suppose misleading, for us to have our own policy if someone complied with it and still couldn’t get the consent of the NRA. That’s why we felt it was more sensible just to say the &nb NRA have their policy and that’s the policy that applies and not mislead anyone.
Cllr FOX: Well I know and I know they base it on visitor numbers and various key indicators, but I do think our key tourism industries and locations do, should be acknowledged —
Ms WALSH: They certainly are acknowledgeedin other parts of the plan. This is just about signage. Cllr FOX: It’s always a key issue, it came up in the Economic Think Tank even, that it was a key issue.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I would have thought the option then is to either leave in the blue that’s been taken out and leave out the amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell.
Cllr SNELL: Cathaoirleach, this is something I wanted to speak on as well, it’s been an issue in most Municipal Districts in County Wicklow and certainly in East Wicklow. It seems the NRA are a little bit flexible with other counties whilst they’re not with County Wicklow. And certainly the perception out there is that people are enticed on to the M50, come through Bray and the first they’ll know about anything in Wicklow is when they’re lookingin the rear view mirror at Arklow Town and heading on towards Wexford. We certainly don’t get a fair &nb crack of the whip in regards of putting up signage. I would concur with the previous speaker in regards to at least keeping this in our plan. At the end of the day, it’s our plan. And while it’s national strategy for the NRA to have their own guidelines, I do believe that we have to sort of reflect what the public want. And I certainly know that a lot of businesses out there —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: What we can do is we can leave in the blue Councillors. What does say, they say it doesn’t comply with their policy, so we will have to write something up, we will try and include as much of this as possible and keep it some what coisure with the NRA. Is that all right Sorcha. Are you happy enough with that.
Cllr SNELL: Yeah, certainly.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I don’t know how you are going to put that in the minutes.
Cllr TIMMINS: I am just curious, I know if was in the old plan, we are discriminating anything below three stars. If a hotel is two star then, it’s not allowed. Is there any reason for that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Because we can’t have one for every B&B off the road. So just to limit the amount. On national roads, you really have to limit the amount of signs you can have. Cllr TIMMINS: A three star B&B would qualify and a two star one wouldn’t then? Cllr FOX: Get the standards up.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fortune.
Cllr FORTUNE: I would agree with everything that Cllr Fox said. I think what he says makes perfect sense. I am just wondering if we were to obviously accept that the nation – what the national roads tell us, what input do we have in that, do we have somebody who sits with them and says hang on that’s mad you can’t do that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: When people apply for a sign, it comes into the planning authority. We then send it out to the various people including the NRA, and they’ll come back with their policy on it. The only problem is now they 3457BG the roads, we don’t – manage the roads, we don’t. So we can’t put signs up.
Cllr FORTUNE: Surely —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: In the old days we could probably get away with it.
Cllr FORTUNE: If they come up with something like this that shouldn’t be allowed, do we not have someone within the Local Authority that can talk to somebody and say what are you doing here, this doesn’t make sense.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We haven’t a great history of being listened to by the NRA.
Cllr FORTUNE: That doesn’t mean we should give up.
Ms WALSH: Generally we interact and make our submissions to them.
Cllr FORTUNE: We should be doing more than that.
Ms WALSH: That’s all we are entitled to do.
Cllr FORTUNE: Should we not be a bit more forceful and saying, someone just saying look what you are giving us here makes no sense.
Ms WALSH: You know how difficult it is to get access to them. We get the opportunity to make submissions, but if we were to knock on the door every time and say we would like to have a face-to-face meeting, we rarely get that.
Cllr FORTUNE: I think we should do that.
Ms WALSH: It’s not up to us to agree to the meeting. We can knock on the door, they don’t have to let us in. We do none knock on the doors, we don’t get in all the time.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We are taking this with an amendment to incorporate the old policy but consistent with the NRA —
Ms WALSH: We can’t do that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: There are other speakers.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Chairman, a lot of the signage that have the blue strikes through them would probably be permitted under the NRA policy. Some of those signs would have to come down, so you answer the question, if somebody wants a sign on a primary road, a national road, they apply to us and we then advise them of the NRA policy and then on secondary roads, the decision is for us, is it?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: No.
Cllr MATTHEWS: It’s still for – okay.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: They apply, we send out the application to in this case the TII and they’ll come back with their recommendations. At this stage they control what goes on on the road, the recommendations basically are what happens. It’s not like before the motorway contracts when we maintained them.
Cllr MATTHEWS: If we were to keep both and the red print say however the National Roads Authority have the final say here and this is their policy.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: That’s what I was suggesting, trying to make up something preserving as much as we can while keeping within – what we say there is in accordance with their policy, it’s not actually in accordance with their policy.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Winters.
Cllr WINTERS: &nbsS thanks Cathaoirleach. I think we would be wrong just to say okay well the NRA said so that’s okay, we will just accept it. It’s really important that we as a county stand up for what we want, and although the NRA may not agree with us, if we want the road signs, we have to have it in our County Development Plan and yes maybe they’ll come back and say that’s not in agreement with our policy. But I don’t thunk we should just roll over and say well we have to comply with what they want. We have to keep constantly fighting for what we want for our businesses, and our residents. And I think it’s wrong that we weren’t allowed to put up road signage. If you go over to the West of Ireland, every single road thaw go on has a Wild Atlantic Way sign stuck somewhere on it, out in bushes in the middle of the country, they’re just everywhere. you come into Wicklow, and you can barely find a major town because we are not allowed any signs. All you see is a sign for Rosslare or a sign for Dublin. There is nothing in between. Or Wexford. It’s like the rest of us don’t exist. You are nearly on top of a town before you see a sign to divert to it or it’s just off the motorway and whereas it’s great to have the infrastructure, it’s effectively killed a lot of the potential tourism that we could have because people don’t actually know it exists because we are not allowed to put up any indication to people that there is something worthwhile stopping to see. I feel that when you say you want to reword it to try and keep the old policy but still comply with the NRA, that’s going to be a very difficult thing to do, but we have to do something. We cannot allow this amendment as it stands.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Walsh.
Cllr WALSH: The same point as Cllr Winters, it’s essential that our major tourist attractions, that we keep the signs for them. Our tourist board are investing a significant amount of money on PR, is that, woulding?
Cllr WALSH: Just to continue, our tourism board have investigated – investigated a significant amount of money on a PR company to promote tourism within the county and it’s essential that our major tourists attractions, such Askill ma Curragh and Killruddery etcetera, that the signs are kept in place. ^^ I think we should be forceful in promoting this point.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Murphy.
Cllr MURPHY: I was just going to conclude with Cllr Walsh there and other speakers. I mean the Think Tank is promoting tourism with the County Council is promoting tourism in a big way. There has been a PR company contracted to do exactly that, and again I mean add our AGM, it’s important for members that we are doing something for the smaller, smaller trades people, who are providing a service in, I won’t say backward areas, but in areas that are not on the beaten track. They’re all providing a service and they’re all paying their fees to board fate. They’re also – Bord Failte. They’re also ^^ members of Wicklow Tourism and that’s always their gripe. And that’s the whole gripe of any discussion with tourism is the signage. And I think it’s something that we need to upgrade. We need to enforce it in a big way. And we need to let the smaller tourism trade, for them to know that the public know where they are. Both visitors and local as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Kavanagh.
Cllr KAVANAGH: Thanks Cathaoirleach, I just wanted to ask why signs are allowed in the West of Ireland and they’re not allowed here? Surely it’s a national strategy? Should we not be querying the effectiveness of that, or the legitimacy of that?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman, what we are looking for is a bit of consistency here. What various Councillors have said and I have seen as well in the West of Ireland, there is signage everywhere. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t pick out a sign, there is so many of them on the pole. There is no consistency in regard to the NRA in regard to signage on their roads. On the N11, I have stated this time and time again, I have brought it up various times, within a kilometre of hills roundabout and Kilmacanogue, and Avoca hand weavers, there is eleven Avoca hand weaver signs put there by the NRA, or the NTA. Eleven signs. Official signs. And yet other well known establishments don’t have or can’t have a sign along the N11. This is a fact. Anyone can see it. There is signage everywhere. Now I have no problem with Avoca hand weavers, but what I would like is a bit of consistency that other established and international, hotels and Wicklow we like to promote tourism, what I would like is a bit of consistency from the transport authority in this regard.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr McLoughlin.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Yeah, I totally agree with Cllr Vance. But I was talking to tourism operators down in Kerry and in Clare. Now most of the signs that we see for the Wild Atlantic Way, they actually put up themselves, they make them up themselves, but they go to specific guidelines, by the Council and the Council actually allow them to put up these signs. It isn’t the NRA that are putting up all these signs or Fáilte Ireland, it’s actually tourism operators themselves, that’s why they’re so prolific, but they have strict guidelines as to a specific size and shape and depending on where they want to go, they put them up. I think it has to be proactive from Wicklow County Council. I would totally agree with Cllr Vance, when off situation like the national garden exhibition centre doesn’t have a sign, and you have a sign to a child care centre son the N11, there is something completely mad about that. But, so, yeah, I think to do – this needs to be re-looked at completely. And we need to change it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: What are we proposing here? &nbs
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Shall we stick this back to the end of the meeting.
Cllr FOX: I would suggest, come up with some wording, and come back. I would run with that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It looks at this stage we might not get it finished today anyway. We can bring this back next Monday. I don’t know. I feel defeated.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will see. We are on to number 39. Irish Water.
Ms WALSH: Irish Water have asked we include an objective in relation to their Vartry water supply scheme because it’s such a significant strategic project, rather than making a general reference to supporting all of their projects, they would like us to make reference to that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed is it.
Ms WALSH: The same goes to the next one to make reference to the waste water treatment plant in Arklow, it’s such an important project.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That’s certainly agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Roadstone, install air quality monitors, to install air quality Mondaying tripping, which is more inclusive.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Roadstone again, just a more inclusive, agreed.
Ms WALSH: Done.
Ms WALSH: 44 came from the Minister and from another submitter, we at the moment we have a policy that wind farms should have a ten year duration, and the Minister said that that’s contrary to his guidance, so he has asked for it to be omitted.
Cllr FOX: Agreed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Not much we can do about that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 45 is from Richard web who wants to support community based wind energy projects.
Ms WALSH: Agreed?
Ms WALSH: Number 46 is came from a number of submitters asking us just to improver our text about solar energy and in relation to photo volume cake cells which are solar panels that make electricity. A lot of people are familiar with solar panels that heat water but as technology is advancing, there is the ability to generate electricity from them, so to make reference to that and also to make reference to the fact that we are now getting ^^ applications foreground mounted solar P V solar farms, and that we should have a positive policy in support of them. Now there is no Irish national guidelines on those solar farms, there is excellent guidelines from the UK that have are being used in Ireland when these applications come in. They came from the Cornwall Council in the UK. They’re absolutely excellent if any of you get the chance to look them up. What we are suggesting is that we support solar farms and also make reference to this standard as the standard we will apply in the absence of guidelines at the moment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right? Ms
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: 190, again Richard web, support the development of district heating systems, generating heat renewable sources. Agreed.
Ms WALSH: Number 48 is from the Minister, and it’s just a policy we have on built heritage, just to mention that when we are talking about recorded monuments, it’s those above and below ground and water that are protected. Number 49 is a extra bit of text that came about on behalf of – on foot of a submission, just clarifying the exact correct definition of what a protected structure is and what the protections are for it. it’s from the guidelines, it was just enhanced text really. CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed. 50.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The same people have got a similar to protect the character of special interest protected structures to ensure …(Reading)… Which is more technically correct.
Ms WALSH: Amendment 51 is – relates to Wicklow Town. And this came on foot of a number of submissions we got about the town centre. And about Fitzwilliam Square and Market Square and what we are suggesting is that the existing, the town centre in Wicklow is already an Architectural Conservation Area and it’s to enhance the text to make reference to the different memorials and the squares that they are very important aspects of the Architectural Conservation Area. That’s the red text there.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Kavanagh.
Cllr KAVANAGH: Just for the point of clarification, just for clarification purposes, this was a very controversial issue at the time, so I just wanted to be very, very clear to people who will be reading the minutes, or who may be following this online, that it was already agreed at a Council meeting that the proposals to develop the area were going to go ahead, so what we are voting on today is the amendments, can we just clarify that, that this is actually enhancing a previous position by companier fastening the monument, the Halpin’s monument in the ACA. Maybe this the CE, the CEO would like to just clarify what’s actually happening here for the sake of people who aren’t really very clear on it.
Ms WALSH: Essentially what’s happening here is that the text reality to go the existing ACA for Wicklow Town is making additional reference to the memorials and to Fitzwilliam Square and Market Square and their memorials. It’s specifically listing them as being important aspects of the ACA. At the moment, it’s silent on them so, it’s including them now that they’re significant features in the ACA. So if anyone were to apply for permission, whether it’s a private individual or the Council during a Part VIII, they have to have regard to the ACA anyway, but it’s drawing attention to these particular features, so particular regard has to be taken. In terms of the improvements that are proposed for Fitzwilliam Square, like you made reference to the Part VIII has already been passed for that. So this doesn’t have any impact retrospectively on that. But any future applications though will have to have increasing regard for the extra features that are listed there in red.
Cllr KAVANAGH: So not to agree to this would actually be undermining the —
Ms WALSH: It would give them potentially less recognition.
Cllr KAVANAGH: I just wanted to clarify that, thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All agreed.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The next one is from Roadstone, and again it’s just adding on to protect non designated sites to ensure appropriate avoidance and mitigation measures …(Reading)… assessment.”
Ms WALSH: Number 53 is from the Minister for arts heritage and Gaeltacht and where our policy previously said was to engage with the National Park …(Reading)… sites” what they’ve asked us to say is support &nb the department and the national parks in the development of site specific conservation objectives. That’s what they’re developing instead of integrated management policies. When I wrote this in twiep, that’s what they were, it’s just updated technology. (Mark).
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Amendment 54 is from the mining heritage trust of Ireland and basically they want, there is a schedule of sites, schedule ten ten and they wanted to show which ones are recommended as candidate natural heritage areas. You can see the red dots. Ms WALSH: It’s just to draw the public’s attention to the fact that there are some of them that are deemed maybe of higher significance than some of the others that they have that designation.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right. Ms WALSH: Agreed? Okay.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Number 55 –
Ms WALSH: 55 just in error, some of the listed views and prospects that were in the previous Enniskerry Local Area Plan weren’t transferred into the list that’s in the draft County Development Plan. It was because we were moving from an LAP in Enniskerry to a town plan. So it’s just to carry them forward, no changes are actually proposed to the list. A am in fact members of the public questioned whether we were removing the protection from those views, but it was just that the list didn’t get carried forward. It’s just a technical fix I suppose.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: This one is from Councillor Derek Mitchell. Putting in basic strengthening the provision of re-inforcement of coastal defences.
Ms WALSH: 57 is from the EPA and they want us to include provision in our coastal area, making reference to coastal flooding and natural flood alleviation characteristics of the coastal area. The protection of people and locationses from flooding is built into our flood study but they felt an extra reference in the coastal zone to flooding would enhance our existing protections. I greed?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: This is from Mr Curran and Frank Gallagher, formerly of this parish. And it’s about town plans, and it’s for the introduction to level five plans. And it’s providing for small scale local neighbourhood shops and mixed use development.
Ms WALSH: Essentially some of the description of the zones was inadvertently omitted on the L S S. We have some areas zoned L S S in development plans and we didn’t describe fully what it actually meant, local shops and services, mixed use, we have a number of mix the use zones in these plans and we say in each plan what we mean by mixed use but we felt it was clear to define it in a more general way that mixed use will be defined in each town plan. We were asked to improve the colour distinction on some maps, where the pink and the orange and the red looks similar. They’re not zoning changes, just enhancing the colours.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Okay, Ashford.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed is it?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The Ashford plan and amendment 59 is proposed by residents and others and it’s changing the zoning from residential to an open space.
Ms WALSH: This is an area of land that is the open space associated with with this development, and our policy is to zone this land existing R E, that means it’s an integral part of the housing estate. The residents felt unsure that would protect their open space, so they ask for it explicitly to be zoned open space in this particular case.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That should be okay sure.
Cllr SNELL: When you say the residents have asked, who actually owns the land, is it the landowner.
Ms WALSH: Normally when land is dedicated for the use of the residents, it stays in the own ship of the developer, is that right Des.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: It’s not always that clear, if someone makes a planning application and often the company falls, but in planning terms it was down as an open space so they’d nearly have had to come in for a planning application to change the use from open space belonging to a housing area. I think that developer has moved on. I am not sure. Moved on from the county or moved on from the university. # universe. But I don’t think there is – I am not sure of that now.
CATHAOIRLEACH: All right. Okay.
Ms WALSH: Number 60 is a small site in Ashford in Ballinalea that once had a shop on it and a commercial yard. And it was zoned town centre which basically means mixed use in case someone wanted to come forward maybe with a small local shop on it. However the area is so close to the town centre and there doesn’t seem to be anyone interested in that kind of development there, it seems it would be more useful to zone it R E, existing residential, which is its existing use at the moment.
Cllr SNELL: Agreed.
Ms WALSH: Number 61 just at nuns cross, if you see the map where it says from, you can see a dog leg of the red line goes around a house there. They actually asked fort land immediate South of them to be zoned existing residential as well. It’s essentially their garden. So we are agreeable to that if you are okay.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Anyone with problems?
Ms WALSH: Number 62 is in relation to the lands that are zoned in everyone Napa in ash Fords. In the existing Development Plan we have a setback of housing, the houses need to be ^^ 100 metres from the N11, with the existing Development Plan, we allowed that they only need to be setback 50 metres in Inchnappa as long as they built noise and light protection measures. We just didn’t carry that forward into the new plan but we are happy to do it now. That was pointed out to us by the developer. Cllr SNELL: Again just Cathaoirleach, on that, in regards to what is being proposed there, this went through 14 Steering Committee meetings in the East Municipal District and all members were supportive of this at the time, in conjunction with the planners. And whilst it is reducing the distance from 100 metres to 50 metres, anyone familiar with the site will know in regards to, it is well protected from the N11 in regards to rock face and it will reduce the noise and visual imfact as well.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Thanks Councillor. Agreed?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: 63 and 64 have been dealt with.
Ms WALSH: 65 then is in Enniskerry, lands that are zoned, actionry one which is the land when you head out of the town out towards glen agree. (action area.) (Mark) so this – the lands that are zoned here in the draft plan measure – sorry the total action area measures 12.5 hectares, and we had had to reduce that from the previous development plan because – plan because a lot of the land is along an SAC, so we got ecological advice on what buffer we would need from the river. The landowner made a very detailed submission about ecological impacts which allows the buffer we feel to be reduced and our ecologists have verified they’re happy with that. So we are happy to increase the area of the action area to 13.5 hectares, so they get one extra hectare.
Cllr FOX: This is 65?
Ms WALSH: Oh, yeah, and, the sort of one … there is seventh bullet point we actually did change earlier on phasing, you had actually stepped out of the room but it was your amendment and we passed it. Cllr FOX: I left it in your capable hands.
Ms WALSH: This amendment is relating to the size of the action area, rather than the phasing. Is that agreed? Okay. Number 66 on page 72, this relates to an area of land that I think it’s called the pony club or there was a riding arena on it. It was down as an action area, which requires the development – the agreement of a master plan in advance of any planning application coming in. However we got a submission from the landowner who pointed out it’s only one landowner, so all we are suggesting there is changeingfrom an action area, to a specific local objective, which doesn’t require a master plan in advance. There is no actual other change to the zoning.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Everyone okay with that?
Ms WALSH: 67 is done, that was done earlier. Number 68, which is about the location of a view in Enniskerry, was drawn to our attention that it was actually in the wrong location, it was pointing the wrong way. So it was looking South instead of North when it should have been the view of the scalp from the Ballymahon road. Agreed? Number 69, this is in Tinahely. If you look at the map at the top of the page, you will see two pieces of land that are kind of the dark orange, the smaller lower piece is actually the permitted open space for the little housing development just South of T the dark orange suggests new residential, whereas the pale yellow is existing residential. This is just fixing a map to reflect what was actually permitted. And then the text to follow it again just reflects that. Number 70 actually is about the Avoca Settlement Plan, and essentially the community of Avoca made a very detailed submission asking us to update some of our text describing Avoca, for example describing what shops and services are in the town, they obviously have a much better idea than we have, so basically we are happy with their enhanced text, that does certainly update things and make the plans stronger.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Ballykissangel is less obvious, as people forget about it.
Ms WALSH: There is nothing really significant there again, as Des is saying removing reference to Ballykissangel and making reference to the Red Kite walk, things that are more up-to-date that are happening in Avoca, there is no change to the policies or objectives to the town, just essentially making it more up-to-date.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Delaney shop is gone to Henley’s shop.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Is that agreed?
Ms WALSH: In Donard, the community asked for an objective which is a footpath along the route by the Garda Station, the school and the creche. We are happy to show that, it is a local plan.
Cllr WINTERS: How is it different to what was said earlier.
Ms WALSH: It’s not part of a local plan. This is the actual Donard LAP.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We used to have lots of local area plans before, the old act said I think towns in excess of 1,000 people. Now it’s in excess of 5,000. We now only have for Bray, Greystones, Arklow, Wicklow, Rathdrum Blessington and Newtown will have local area plans. Everything else is until the County Development Plan, but at the end of the plan they’re local plans.
Ms WALSH: Number 72 is the number of the residents in Donard which drew our attention to the historic character of Donard and wanted to see enhanced protection for it. so having discussed with the heritage officer, we think it’s appropriate to designate the centre of it an architecture conservation area. the text is describing the town centre and the conservation area and one of the features that need to be protected in that area.
Ms WALSH: Roundwood, on page 81, amendment 73, again it’s making reference to additional footpaths. Drawn to our attention by the local community. Is that agreed? Okay. Moving on to number 74, the Minister just drew our attention to the new design standards for apartments, which we had been obliged to implement. Number 75 again is from the Minister and again makes reference to the minimum apartment size guidelines.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We can’t have our own minimums anymore, we have to obey their one.
Ms WALSH: Number 76 —
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Is that agreed?
Ms WALSH: Number 76 is – 76 is again updated standards with regards to —
Cllr FORTUNE: Sorry, I don’t agree with 75.
Ms WALSH: We are oblige to comply with the ministerial apartment guidelines, we have no leeway on that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We can put that in Councillor, but it’s only going to mislead people.
Cllr FORTUNE: I am saying I as an individual, I am not supporting that.
Ms WALSH: Okay. Number 76 is to clarify our open space standards with regard to apartments and with regard to duplexes. Again this is in light of the Minister’s new guidelines. Amendment 77 electricity supply board gave us information about charging points for electric vehicles. And they’ve suggested that in carparks, 10% of spaces should have a charging point for electric vehicles. And that’s the standard that they’re applying. So if you have a – it says a shared residential car parking areas. This is not your private, on your site, but it’s where there is a car park provided as part of development, that 10%, if there is 20 spaces, there is should be two spots that have provision for an electric vehicle charging point.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Can I ask, do you have to get planning permission now for those Powerpoints or are they installed as part of the building of the car park? There was an issue in Greystones where they were trying to put in electric point and it seemingly had to go to Bord Pleanala, they had to get planning permission for it.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: They said they didn’t need anything in Dublin, it turned out that Wicklow was correct. You need planning permission.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: They did need planning permission?
Ms WALSH: Essentially there is a new regulation.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The reason we needed it was because someone was leaning on us.
Ms WALSH: The next one, we did that earlier, protection of residential, we passed that areas, it’s in two different places in the plan. Number 79, our new standards with regard to the extractive industry based on new guidelines and some of the text was outdated and some new up-to-date text is proposed. It’s very technical, it doesn’t change the policy basically on quarries.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: In fact this was agreed with Adele Birmingham who doesn’t easily agree such things.
Ms WALSH: So agreed? Okay, amendment 80 is our standards for retail, and essentially all we are suggesting at the very bottom is a new bullet points that retail development should have regard to that new policy that you already approved about protecting residential amenity in transitional areas. That means if someone is building a shop or supermarket in an area where there is houses all around, they’ll pay particular regard to the juxtaposition of their development and the houses beside it. It goes hand in hand with the other policy that you were happy with earlier. Agreed? ESB again, it’s giving some more information about this electric car charging points and what they’ve requested that we put in is in all carparks, car parking areas should be constructedded …(Reading)… at a rate of 10%” that means say an apartment developer is providing 20 car parking spaces, he needs to get the place all wired up and ready for the charging points but doesn’t necessarily have to do them because there might be no demand for them at the moment. It’s to future proof them essentially.
Cllr MITCHELL: That’s just 10%?
Cllr WHITMORE: Can we just go back to -79D for a quick second. I am just wondering the rational behind it? We have taken out the requirement for an annual submission for an environmental audit setting out the summary, C S.5, it’s been – there is a strike through on it, (see it’s point 5, a strike through on it, the summary of all environmental monitoring for the year, record of movement of movement outside the approved hours, etcetera, I wonder why that’s been taken out of the plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The reason it’s been taken out really is we are not in any position to do anything with this stuff. It never actually happens. But I think someone else is actually responsible. I have forgotten now the details of it.
Ms WALSH: Yeah, I’ll check that out and come back to you Jennifer. Essentially there is no guidelines on quarries and essentially that’s why we have been asked to update ours, that these aren’t standard requirements to ask for these things anymore, that we would be doing a solo run on it. It’s not industry norm. We did check this with our senior person Edel who does all the quarries and she said these were the up-to-date standards that are required. We still require them to lodge a cash deposit for restoration of the site and we still can put conditions he relating to measures to prevent environmental pollution and so on, they’re on the next page. A lot of it was repetition shoes as well, but ^^ I don’t think it’s normal standard practice now to require the annual submission of environmental audit.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We put these things in, there is no-one available to do anything with them and it was kind of meaningless. But I’ll come back to you because I know we did talk about it, I just can’t put my finger on it.
Cllr WHITMORE: I suppose in the instance of where something does go wrong, in that event then the information will at least be there, do you know if there was an investigation or a review, the information would be there to sort of say up front that they don’t need to provide it just because we don’t have the resources to go through each and every report, I think we could be leaving ourselves short.
Ms WALSH: I’ll get to the bottom of that now for you.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: If we finish tonight we can leave it in and take it out again. 82, is it? I think this just camen it’s something there, we had the details of an ten nay operated by other providers in the area ^^ and their associated coverage maps. They said they can’t get the coverage maps of their competitors, which kind of makes sense, so we took it out. Ms WALSH: On the next page, page 891 – 91, on the same section, the safety criteria, we don’t have any role in the safety of masts. It’s dealt with by the Commission for energy regulation. Anything we say there would be meaningless essentially. And then on obsolete structures, Cllr Matthews has already put in an amendment with regard to that earlier on in the day, which was agreed and the duration of permission, ministerial guidelines have told us there should be no longer a time limit on the duration of permission.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, sorry, I have my light on.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I beg your pardon.
Cllr BEHAN: Just on that last point, I don’t agree that we should reduce that time limit or effectively get rid of that time limit. I would far prefer to see the more conservative wording that was previously in the plan on duration or permission Lee taped. So I would like a vote on that. I don’t grow with putting in that, I think it’s quite liberal, and allows a situation to continue that we may not want to continue for some reason in the future and I don’t see why we should give away power in that particular instance.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: The difference here is generally you get planning permission for a structure, you have it. For use, you sometimes get permission for a limited number of years. There was actually ministerial guidelines on an ten nay towers, which said they only gave it for five years and at the time it was on the basis with new technology coming in, you might get away with less and less or smaller. But they gave another ministerial guidance there in the last six months, around that time, where they said we are now to stop this policy of giving five year permissions. So I am not sure – we don’t have any basis now for temporary permission of structures.
Cllr BEHAN: Yeah, well we are still entitled to make a Development Plan which reflects our views, are we not?
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: You can put something in, it’s going to be very meaningless.
Cllr BEHAN: I think we should put it in.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: At the end of the day, if you look at the Planning Act, we will have to take cognisance of section 28, directions is what they’re called I think, and we don’t have any choice as a manager making a planning decision, doesn’t have any choice on that. But if you want to leave it in.
Cllr BEHAN: Just record my – I don’t know what other people feel, maybe nobody agrees with me.
Ms WALSH: Maybe if it’s some comfort, Cllr Matthews’ amendment earlier was when a mass structure becomes redundant, so when the antenna have been reduced and there is no other user for it, it was to give one year for them to be remiffed and the person who built the structure, the landowner, ^^ that will be strictly enforced. Very, very few masts become redundant because the technology hasn’t changed so much to not need masts. As Des was saying it was envisaged in the 80s that the technology would change, and it simply hasn’t, the type of antenna and their power has changed so people were worried about these being a blight on the landscape if the five years came and went and the antenna were removed and no-one needed them anymore. As long as we have strict control on the redundant ones being removed, then you have a strong enough control in place there.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I can see where Cllr Behan is coming from. The plans one part of the plan is policies, definite policies that you make, and that we will take into consideration making planning decisions. There are other parts of the plan there to give information to someone reading it. So we put down what ministerial guidelines say and then in places we have had to change them and say we have changed those and they’ve asked us to change the plan. These things aren’t really policy matters for yourselves and that’s not to belittle you or take away your power, it’s more to be a readable document for someone reading it. We can leave them in but at the end of the day, it won’t really have any effect.
Cllr BEHAN: &nbs
CATHAOIRLEACH: Sorry, Cllr Vance.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman, I thought the amendment that Cllr Matthews put in was very good. I seconded it. I don’t believe like putting stuff in the Development Plan that actually has no meaning or legal basis, you know, really. If it actually means nothing, why put it in the Development Plan. I think the only thing that should go in a Development Plan is if something means something. You know if the advice is that it actually means nothing, I am not in favour of putting it in.
Cllr BEHAN: Cathaoirleach, just in response to that, if we have a minute even just to look at the bottom of page 9, the last bullet point, where a subsequent permission does not …(Reading)… to be improved.” In effect we are kind of really saying we are going to just take our hands off this whole process. When in fact the previous provision still gave us some power to have some input. And I would also say that while technology improves and Sorcha has made the point that nearly all, I think nearly was the word she used or almost, but sure we don’t know exactly what might be the impact of some of this new technology and at some stage in the future we might actually want to have some type of restriction like this. So I accept the department, I mean the department maybe should come in here and give us the plan as well. I really think we should hold on to a little bit of power here.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Cathaoirleach in this instance, this all came from the ministerial guidance in the first place. That’s where it came from. These were all their words. If you think back, remember the first – apart from the one on the hill behind us here, remember the first ones, you used to have a big platform on top and they had to keep the things about three metres away from each other and they looked fierce ugly and then they got smaller and smaller. Obviously they feel at this stage they’re at an end point and they’re not going to get any different. But that’s what came from the department. But I have no problem if you want to stick it in. Ms WALSH: It’s ministerial circular 0712 and it states “planning authorities are advise ed from the date of this circular …(Reading)… should cease.” So that was the ministerial circular. That’s quite direct.
CATHAOIRLEACH: A fair lot of directions from the Minister.
Cllr BEHAN: Just note my opinion anyway.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Minister’s plan.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: These are additions to the record of protected structures. CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed?
Cllr WHITMORE: Can I ask about the condition of pretty bush former National School from the register. The deletion of pretty bush National School from the Register. Was that at the request of the —
Ms WALSH: That’s RPS 2. Number two. On the list. Yeah, we got a submission on that saying basically giving us more information about its features and it seems to have lost many of its original features and been added to and bits have been demolished over the years and our heritage officer went and inspected it and didn’t feel it had those features that would make it worthy of protection. Do you know where it is, yellow painted cottage on the regional road between Kilcoole and pretty bush. Right on the road.
Cllr WHITMORE: And it has been inspected.
Ms WALSH: Yeah.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Sorcha needs to make a statement on this.
Ms WALSH: With regard to number 83, as you can see most of the elements there are to amend descriptions and so on. But a number of members have come to us suns we produce this had report asking could they add further structures on to the record of protected structures and we have consulted the guidelines and we are not 100% sure that you can add or delete anything at this stage. Because when you add or delete or propose to add or delete a structure, you give quite a considerable amount of time, I thunk it’s eight or ten weeks for the owner and other people to make their views known before you make a decision. We are at the stage now where you only have a four-week period to make your views known and our recent reading, I sent you all an email about this last week, our reading of it last week is that it doesn’t seem it’s feasible to necessarily add or delete something at this stage. It’s certainly open to amend T I am still trying to get some finality on the advice on that and be absolutely sure of that. It would mean barn is can I church, ^^ pretty bush and a couple of others there actually I can’t be 100% that it’s legally sound to add them but I can certainly advice you after the meeting. We wanted to see whether you were for or against them anyway, before we furmd up. If you weren’t in support of them anyway, the matter would be moot.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Agreed S. Ms WALSH: You are generally supportive of everything that’s in that list, once I get the final advice? Okay number 84 is our landscape character assessment, one of the append says of the Development Plan ^^ and area 2 B we described as southern coastline around Wicklow Town, and it’s just clarifying that by the landscape, the protected landscape area, the coastal cell we are saying it includes the glen turn and encompasses Wicklow head and goes as far as Arklow rock. That’s just to clarify that’s where the coastal area starts and ends. Amendment 85, as those of you who have been around a long time, you know we have a landscape area called the corridor area, there is one on the East along the N11 and one on the West along the N81. This is to supposed to reflect the influence of the N11, places you can see from the N11 and landscape I suppose that’s been disturbed by man building a great big motorway through T the Eastern corridor area around Redcross goes all the way from the N11 and includes Redcross and goes West of Redcross. Although Redcross is a good bit beyond the N11. You can’t see it from the N11. It’s up and over a hill from the N11. So we felt that corridor area should be pulled back to the peak of the hill, what you can see from the N11. This was on foot of a submission from someone in Redcross who felt the landscape didn’t have a high enough designation, so the proposal is to go from corridor area, medium grade protection to an area of high amenity. Agreed? Okay. 86, this is sort of little extra bit to do with the wind strategy. At the moment, the Government guidelines and our Development Plan policy talks about the area that you have to study for shadow flicker and noise impacts. Sorry shadow flicker. And it’s ten times the radius of the rotor. But an example is used in the Development Plan at the moment that rotor diameter of 50 metres or less …(Reading)… any turbine” it was brought to our attention if someone wanted a very small wind turbine, say one small one on a farmyard, that even if it only had a rotor diameter of ten or twenties metres, our policy at the moment provides a 500 metre area of assessment. We say anything 50 metres or less requires 500 metres, when the guideline should be ten times the rotor diameter. Now we have passed the 1,000 metre setback, it seems moot, but if the 1,000 metre setback doesn’t come about at the end of the day. It was brought to our attention by someone who was talking about the small scale ones you may have at a house or farm and they felt if it was only 20 or 30 metres high or smaller again, a 500 metre zone of assessment was very onerous, but if it was 20 metres high, 200 metres would be more reasonable.
Cllr WINTERS: I have no problem with that.
Ms WALSH: There are exceptions that allow for small scale wind turbines on properties.
Cllr BEHAN: No, Cathaoirleach, I don’t agree with that. Because if you look at the old wording, it allows an impact on all residences within that minimum area. I mean we don’t know, we can’t possibly say while on one hand you could say it might be unfair on the applicant, actually that would depend on how near another residence was to that applicant and even small turbines can actually have quite a lot of noise, and the flicker as well. So I think what was in it, what was in our previous plan is much better and stronger and I think we should leave it that way. It doesn’t mean they’re not going to be granted, it just means they have to submit the assessment. Ms WALSH: It brings up an important question about the 1,000 metre setback. If someone applies for a small wind turbine on their property, how does the 1,000 metres —
Cllr SNELL: That was effectively commercial wind farms.
Ms WALSH: We didn’t say the word commercial wind farms. We said wind turbines. The international best evidence is that impact, shadow flicker is only likely ten, it’s not likely any more than ten times the rotor diameter. Once you are past the ten times, there is no shadow flicker in Ireland because of the angle of the sun that a flicker impact is impossible more than ten times. But that’s the international studies on that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Are you proposing that we stick with the —
Cllr BEHAN: Yes.
Cllr Shay CULLEN: I would second that as well.
Cllr MATTHEWS: I would like to propose we accept that. (INAUDIBLE).
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: The new wording, is that what you are suggesting.
Cllr MATTHEWS: Take this amendment with this.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: Do we vote on it.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Have we a seconder for Councillor – Matthews.
Cllr McLOUGHLIN: I’ll second Cllr Matthews.
Ms WALSH: We are voting to accept the Manager’s recommendation there. A vote was taken)
Cllr ANNESLEY: We are doing Cllr Matthews’ proposal first. Yeah, for.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That the wording is left —
Cllr BEHAN: No, no, that’s two different things.
CATHAOIRLEACH: What’s your proposal.
Cllr BEHAN: What Cllr Matthews is proposing is what the Manager is proposing.
Cllr RUTTLE: You are saying go back to the original. So.
Cllr BEHAN: If you want to accept what the Manager is saying, you vote for Cllr Matthews.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I asked you do you want it left as is in the plan.
Cllr BEHAN: Yes. That’s my proposal.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Who is seconding that. Cllr Cullen. The second one is what’s in the plan.
Cllr BEHAN: We are taking mine then.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We are taking yours first. As you do.
Cllr BEHAN: That’s fine. That’s what I said originally.
MS GALLAGHER: Proposer by Cllr Behan and seconded by Councillor Shay Cullen.
(a vote was taken)
MS GALLAGHER: 16 for, eight against and eight not present. All right. We are on to 83 now.
Ms WALSH: Nearly there. 87 is from the EPA asked us in our flood risk assessment to show some extra flood mapping for the coastal areas. That’s part of our flood risk assessment. Number 88, you have dealt with half of this. Which is the table about the public rights of way that you – Cllr Fox proposed earlier, but the second half of this is just the objectives on public rights of way, which are page 109. So you haven’t seen that before. So this is essentially to enhance the existing objectives that we have in the plan, so N H 45 just makes reference to these public rights of way being for amenity purposes which is what the act essentially says, just to be absolutely clear. N H 46, we are proposing that this be enhanced, this is an objective to carry out further research as resources permit regarding mapping and identifying public rights of way. Such research will be carried out …(Reading)… representative groups.” we felt it was better to say representatives of organisations rather than users of amenity routes. That might be harder to define. And the second half of that is in relation to how we might identify further public rights of way, there is a particular sex of the act that we would use after this Development Plan is finished, so I suppose it’s just a technical clarification of how we would go about identifying further ones in due course. N H 47 is a proposed new objective which is “in accordance with the provisions …(Reading)… public rights of way” they’re the four around Wicklow Town, the only four already made public rights of way. And it’s just setting out that it’s our obligation now to carry out maintenance of them. That will apply to any further rights of way that you do add if you do add any in October or November. So just clarifying our obligations with regards to rights of way.
Cllr FORTUNE: Are you saying we are obliged to look after all of these.
Ms WALSH: If you include them as public rights of way, yeah, is that agreed.
Cllr WINTERS: Yeah, can I just, just in that table it refers to tin Kelly, outside, and I am wonder something that separate to tin killly, or, in all of those tables there when it’s talk being the Murrough coastal walk, it talks about it.inakelly, and I am wondering ^^ is that tin killly, spelt incorrectly, or a separate,.
Ms WALSH: Tin Kelly is the actual townland.
Cllr WINTERS: Grand, I know I’ll get asked by people.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: You can stagger them with your knowledge now.
Ms WALSH: We have two things to come back to now, the signage and — that’s the full list, but there is two things to come back to, one was the tourism text we dealt with at the beginning, and maybe the road signage. With regard to the road signage, I think we are happy that we can right something that income – that isn’t in conflict with the NRA guidelines but reflects what you have told us here today about recognising certain tourist attractions, and having our own strong policy on it. But we just don’t want to give people misleading information.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: We can put in “in addition.”
Ms WALSH: We can circulate that over the next few days before we publish them to make sure you are all happy with that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: Agreed? So 79 is agreed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just Cllr Fortune, you wanted to go back to page 27, Fáilte Ireland. You have some issues there. It might be a different page on that one.
Cllr WINTERS: Amendment number? CE: 25, 26, 27 and 28.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You just had some reservations. Cllr FORTUNE: I just made a general observation and (INAUDIBLE).
CATHAOIRLEACH: Can you press your button there Tom.
Cllr FORTUNE: My concern was just a general one, I had looked through it, and it just, when you see things like daily visits are – which is a fundamental problem we have had, if this is policy, okay we got the book, we read through it, as I confirmed to Cllr Ruttle earlier.
Cllr RUTTLE: You didn’t read it enough obviously.
Cllr FORTUNE: I did, more than you did I think! If this is policy, it obviously needs to get more attention I think that us looking at everything in the book and coming in here like we are today of the I am just concerned that there is stuff being put in that doesn’t really do Wicklow any favours. A bit like your own concerns about the NTA.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Fox just wants to come in.
Cllr FOX: Well I actually, I have a contrary view. I think the way we done the process was absolutely fantastic. And I would like to congratulate – I think we have learned our lessons from the past, I seriously want to thank the staff involved, Des, Sorcha, Ashling and Bernie and I know probably Stephen was involved before he headed off. There is a way of doing it through the Municipal Districts, taking out all the maps and we had two municipal meetings which I found really, really good way of doing it, I would be very complimentary of how the pro selves handled. And pay tribute to the staff. Thank you very much.
Cllr FORTUNE: Sorry Chair, I am confused. I appreciate Cllr Fox’ comments, my comments would be similar, the process has been very thorough and we have had all he says. I was in the middle of making a comment and he just comes in, slaps you all on the back which is great.
CATHAOIRLEACH: He didn’t slap me on the back anyway.
Cllr FOX: You need a slap! &nbs Cll
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: He was looking for the soft spot to put in the knife in.
Cllr FORTUNE: My point was a general one, as other people have made lots of general points. While I would concur with Cllr Fox’ sentiments to you all, it has been like that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: In fairness to the Councillors, this was an 800 page document. I mean it will probably be a module in a degree course. I mean it is, it’s very, very hard to expect Councillors to read it all. And there were four staff on this non stop, so you can understand members aren’t going to be able to read everything. But at the time Councillor you said you hadn’t read these, have you had a chance, do you want to take five minutes out to read them.
Cllr FORTUNE: No, I never said Director that I hadn’t readt you can see all my markings.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: I appreciate that.
Cllr FORTUNE: It was Cllr Ruttle suggested I hadn’t read it.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: When you read 800 pages, sometimes you skip over.
Cllr FORTUNE: Sure, that’s the exact point I was making, that we got the book, read through it, came back in with all our bits and pieces but we have when you have the prescribed bodies putting stuff in that reflects what they want to do with the world, it may not be what we want to do ourselves. And I think, you know, we do need to take our time with something like this, there was a great job done on the whole process of it, but that shouldn’t stop us asking a question.
Ms WALSH: Maybe would it be helpful if I ran through what each section is —
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Vance please.
Cllr VANCE: Chairman, to be fair, I don’t think there has been a situation in this whole process that people have not been able to ask questions. I think it has been – the consultation has been full and it’s been tremendous in a sense that the way it was handled has been the best since I have been involved in regard a Development Plan. And there was nothing left to chance. And everyone got an opportunity, and no matter how silly maybe some people might have felt, other peoples comments were addressed and addressed very thoroughly as well. A lot of work has gone into this by a lot of people. I know the three that have been mentioned would be Bernie, Ashling and Sorcha, but other people were involved I know as well throughout the whole organisation. And really and truly it reflects on those people the meeting today that was carried out today, in the manner it has as well. And really and truly, I always felt I was very well consulted on T the local plans got an awful lot of – the local stuff out of the way as well, and I just congratulate all the people that were involved in it. No plan is ever absolutely perfect, but this is as near to being perfect as you possibly get. I want to thank everyone for that.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Blake.
Cllr BLAKE: Just to join with Cllr Fox and Cllr Vance as Chairman of the SPC, we started this plan in October 2014, and certainly with the communications, and the activities of the Planning Department and everybody said thanks to each and every one of the staff and to Stephen who was with us as well. But equally so to all the members here of the Council as well, because they certainly have engaged on a great extent over the last – since October 2014. And to the public out there as well and all the organisations, we have to take that into consideration as well. But certainly there has been – as other members have said here, we have had other County Development Plans in the past that have probably been very, very difficult to get through, but certainly I think it’s a reflection on all concerned, the staff, the public out there as well, and the members here, that their conduct in relation to this has been first class and it’s probably the fact that we have got through today here and compliments how we have picked a very appropriate six o’clock to finish at, he must have had a premonition that we would get there. But if we are concluding at the moment, and we are concluding, I would like to formally propose that we adopt the amendments here today.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We just have something ready there.
Cllr BLAKE: If we are doing that, as Chairman of the SPC, I formally propose we put it out on display with the amendments.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Just read that out please.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: &nbs
Cllr WHITMORE: The issue in relation to (INAUDIBLE). Ms WALSH: I’ll come back to the source of that.
DIRECTOR O’BRIEN: That the Chief Executive’s report as per the amendments proposed and agreed by the members, the recommended amendments of the Chief Executive as agreed by the members and any changes consequent be adopted and put on public display as per the statutory requirements? A proposer.
CATHAOIRLEACH: And seconded.
Cllr FOX: I’ll second it. CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Snell?
Cllr SNELL: I won’t cover what everyone else has said. Obviously it goes hand in hand in regards of the braise of the staff and how they’ve gone about this Draft Development Plan. The plan can be as difficult as you make T or as easy as you make it. And I think the members certainly need a lot of place. The members put – praise, the members put in a lot of home work to this, you can see it from the debate not just today, but every time it’s been on the agenda and I didn’t want you feeling left out either Cathaoirleach, you said you didn’t get a tap on the back so I am just going to say for your first meeting, to come in here and to deal with the items of the agenda, we went through the full agenda this morning, plus the Draft Development Plan, I think you conducted it well and I think that augers well for the future. So I just congratulate everyone on the hard work. Thanks Cathaoirleach.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Are Cllr Annesley.
Cllr ANNESLEY: I want to concur with Cllr Snell, I want to give you a clap on the back for your first meeting Cathaoirleach, you did a great job and you have it on timescale. Out of all the Council, you did study this booklet very tightly because at a couple of functions over the weekend, you kept saying to me I have to go home and read the proposals. Well done Cathaoirleach and Sorcha and Des and everybody. Thank you.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Cllr Nolan.
Cllr NOLAN: Just again to concur with what’s been said already. As the baby of the Council, it’s the first Development Plan I have been involved with, some of you have been here for many, many years, but as I said, it was very above the shoulders, and but again the staff and fellow members that consulted with me made the process very easy. Just to thank everyone that’s involved. Thankfully we won’t have to be back at this for another six years. Again the process was made as easy as possible, but, and it was an experience anyway, I thank you all for helping us through it.
Cllr WHITMORE: Congratulations, I am just wondering before we close up at six, are we looking at the capital investment programme.
Cllr VANCE: Not today.
Cllr WINTERS: Okay. So it’s September, is it?
CE: Just to wrap up, I want to compliment the members from talking to Des, Sorcha and the team, and we appreciate the interaction, the amount of work that was done, and I would like to thank the Cathaoirleach in the way he has handled the meeting and again thank you very much. Job well done.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I just want to thank the staff myself for the co-operation. Obviously I am new to this sort of thing, but Sorcha kept me in tune, kept me up to speed on what was happening, so I did study it. But look at, I want to thank the members for their co-operation, and as I say it’s a new experience for me here today to deal with 88 submissions or amendments or whatever, and the members obviously put a lot of work into it, and hopefully it works out for the Council over the come be years.
(the meeting concluded at 5.50)