Thursday, June 21, 2018

'No public input' yet into Market Square plan

One of the Committee meetings.
Local input into the proposal for the Market Square will not be allowed until a Part 8 process is initiated by Kildare County Council, writes Brian Byrne.

In a statement following the Diary's article on local businesses being 'left out' of the process of developing the draft plan, the Market Square Redevelopment Committee says it had been 'advised on how best to approach' the process and has 'followed this advice'.

The Committee says that following the Public Consultation Day last September, there had been 'no plans' for a further public consultation until after the councillors of Naas MD 'had been presented with the proposed design'. The councillors were presented with the plan on Tuesday last.

The statement continues that when the Part 8 plan is completed, 'everyone will have their say'. "We are looking forward to showing this exciting proposed design to the public. Interested parties will have an opportunity to view these proposals at a future date."

The Committee says 'nobody has had any input into the proposed design' since the Public Consultation Day. "The landscape architect has been working on it since, and is using all the data gathered to present a proposed design."

The statement says that local businesses 'all reported good trading' on the days of the Christmas and Easter Markets, and 'acknowledged the economic benefits' of regular markets and other events on the square.

There is no mention of the need for replacement car parking in the statement, the core issue of recent commentary both on the Diary and on related social media.

The statement clarifies the current estimate of costings at €500,000 for 'phase one' and a further €100,000 for the proposed footbridge across the Liffey near the Canoe Club.

Naas MD councillors have agreed to allocate €10,000 from the LPT to pay for the design stage. A further €200,000 is being sought in funding from the Town & Village Renewal Scheme, and Kildare County Council has been asked to consider granting funds from its Capital Funding budget.

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