Ministerial direction overrules local voices

November 13, 2017

Catherine Murphy TD has said the recent decision by Minister Damien English to overrule local councillors in respect of the Celbridge Plan will be met by huge anger locally.

The Ministerial direction effectively rezones part of Donaghcumper Demesne for a town centre extension,  it includes 150 residential units linked by a pedestrian bridge.  The proposal  had been opposed by thousands of Celbridge residents at each stage of the Local Area Plan process.   The majority of Councillors in the Municipal District had agreed the zoning as amenity but the Minister has overruled all of that.

Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy, who has personally spoken to the Minister regarding the issues with Donaghcumper Demsene, said:

“The Minister has completely failed to appreciate the unique value of the linked demesnes of Castletown, Donaghcumper and St Wolstan’s and the fact that they were specifically designed in tandem.

“An additional direction by the Minister has removed the residential zoning on the site beyond Crodaun where in excess of 200 houses were proposed.  Back in the year 2001 lands at Donaghcumper were originally zoned as residential and provision for a town centre extension.  Subsequent to this, two major planning applications were lodged in 2008 and 2009 with both being heavily opposed by the local community who appealed them to An Bord Pleanala. After a lengthy oral hearing An Bord Pleanala sided with the community stating it was ‘unfortunate’ the lands were zoned in the first place.

“The Ministerial decision will pose the obvious question about the point of the Local Area Plan process which invites submissions from local people. Elected Councillors then use the information submitted from local people to inform the decisions made at Council level only for the Minister to overrule them. It’s ludicrous and completely undemocratic.”

ENDS

13th Nov 2017