COUNTY hall has been acused of being “resistant to any form of improvement” with the Kilminchy area over the building of a playground in the estate.
The accusation was made after the council made a request for further information on a planning application for a playground submitted by the residents association. Dermot Lee, chairperson of the Kilminchy Management Company said he thought it would be a simple and straightforward application to facilitate children playing and their parents.
The council sought more information on existing boundary walls on the site, they also asked for a project construction and demolition plan to be drawn up, and a detailed landscaping plan to be submitted.
The council also requested that the management company submit a revised proposal which addressed the concerns of the Council’s sport and leisure officer.
In his letter to the council, earlier this year, Mr Lee said it had been the committee’s intention to try and ensure that the playground would be available for the Spring/Summer season. Mr Lee said he had been quiet taken aback at the council’s request for further information.
“We were sure that Laois County Council would give us every assistance in ensuring that the playground would be facilitated as quickly as possible.
“As you will appreciate the Management Company is doing its upmost to try and cater for the needs of young children. The costs of preparing a formal project construction and demolition plan would be considerable. I have hesitated in stating that in putting in this playground we would be absolving Laois County Council of the necessity of having to try and provide a playground for children in the Kilminchy area, where there are approximately 680 houses with at least 1,200 children.
“I simply cannot understand why a County Council would be attempting to put barriers in the way of a company which is run by volunteers to try and provide a playing area for young children,” Mr Lee concluded his letter.
Denise Rainey, administrative officer with the Planning Section replied to Mr Lee and the Management Company, acknowledging that the council had received his letter. She said the contents had been noted.
“I am to advise that the planning application received was validated in accordance with the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2011, and as with all planning applications received, was dealt with in accordance with the Regulations to ensure accountability and openness was complied with,” said Ms Rainey.
She said the council had requested further information to enable them to deal with the application fully. She said on receipt of this information, the application would receive every consideration.
The planning application also received one submission from five local residents who said no correspondence had taken place with the members of the management company regarding a suitable location for the playground.
The residents said the first time they were made aware of plans was at the company’s AGM last year. The signees of the objection said they thought there should be a playground in the Kilminchy, but that its location needed to be discussed.