‘Conservation experts’ to monitor Killenard development

‘CONSERVATION experts’ will have to be engaged to monitor all stages of a proposed development at Killenard.

‘CONSERVATION experts’ will have to be engaged to monitor all stages of a proposed development at Killenard.

Despite receiving three submissions, Laois County Council has approved conditional planning permission for the amibitious project which will feature an archive store and exhibition space at Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat & Conference Centre.

There are thirteen conditions attached and the Department of Arts, Heritage & The Gaeltacht, An Taisce and the Heritage Council have the right of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the Council’s decision and this must be lodged within four weeks.

The Presentation Sisters applied on June 28 last for permission to change use of existing single storey garden stores building and develop an archive storage and exhibition space, featuring a single storey glazed entrance porch.

They also sought permission to provide nine new parking bays and to change use of existing two storey stable building to residential accommodation providing three single bedroom apartments on the ground floor and four en-suite bedrooms on the first floor communal living room.

Two of the conditions attached to the granting of permission on August 16 last are that the overall development ‘shall be monitored throughout by conservation experts’.

And that upon completion ‘an internal and external photographic survey shall be carried out of the Protected Structure and submitted to Laois County Council’.

The project architects, on behalf of the Presentation Sisters, are Dublin based Randel McDonnell Architects.

It is intended that the exhibition space will be for families of Sisters past and present to visit and learn in what country their relative served.

Visits will be by appointment only and an archivist and receptionist will be the extent of the staff who may not be permanently employed.

Most of the archive information will be digitally available at interactive computer terminals within the space.

It is also proposed to house archive material relating to Mount St Anne’s itself which is in possession of the Sisters.

Future access for tours by local community groups and schools may be considered.