06. Community & Housing
6.0 Community & Housing
SO3: To facilitate the development of high quality, integrated residential neighbourhoods that cater for an appropriate demographic mix and deliver, where possible, community, recreation and amenity facilities in tandem with housing to be encouraged through new development.
6.1 COMMUNITY FACILITIES
Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch has a wide variety of community facilities, services and community groups spread throughout the town that provide an important support network to the residential population. Community facilities are an important element in the urban fabric of a settlement and should form part of an integrated network of resources available to local people. They serve the basic needs of the settlement and provide a place where people can meet and create a sense of town spirit and pride in their community. Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch has a strong sense of community and is relatively well served by community facilities including educational, sporting, cultural and social facilities. The community facilities include two national schools, a secondary school, community playgroup, health centre, outdoor activity hub, GAA Club, angling club, Tidy Towns group among others.
This Draft Joint LAP acknowledges that the integration of social infrastructure with the development of the settlement is fundamental to the long-term resilience and sustainability of the community in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch.
Community Facility Objectives
It is an objective of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils:
COMO1.1: To support and facilitate the provision of multi-functional community facilities to meet the needs of the population of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch.
Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch is served by a post primary school (Duiske College) and two primary schools; Graig na Manach Buac with ca. 75 pupils and Scoil Naisiunta Muire Gan Smal with ca. 160 pupils.
Duiske College is a non-selective, co-educational school under the patronage of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) with a catchment area that extends beyond the settlement boundary of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. The school has a current mainstream enrolment of ca. 149 pupils. In addition to Junior Cycle the school offers the established Leaving Certificate, the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP), an optional Transition Year (TY) Programme, Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses and Adult Education Programmes (Level 5 and 6).
The Department of Education’s methodology for calculating demand for school places assumes that on average, 12% of the population are of primary school going age and 8.5% are of secondary school going age. From these assumptions it can be estimated that in total approximately 219 children would be of primary school going age and 155 children would be of secondary school going age by 2026.
During the pre-draft public consultation period Duiske College made a submission stating the existing Duiske College site in Graiguenamanagh has reached capacity and in order to facilitate further expansion of the school a larger site is required. As part of their submission a site measuring ca. 2.68ha (illustrated on Map 1) was identified to the west of the settlement which has been zoned accordingly as part of the Draft Joint LAP.
Kilkenny County Council will liaise with the school and the Department of Education and Skills to address planning issues in this regard.
6.1.2 Early Childcare and Education
According to Pobal website which records public and private childcare facilities in each County there is a registered community playgroup organised by a voluntary organisation operating in Graiguenamanagh however there is no full day childcare facility registered in the Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch settlement. The availability of good quality and accessible early childcare and education facilities is important to support the development of sustainable communities and to support economic development. This Draft Joint LAP supports the development of a community creche within the plan area.
6.1.3 Additional Social Infrastructure
The Council will continue to liaise with key stakeholders including service providers and private bodies and assist in securing community infrastructure and funding for such at appropriate locations throughout the plan area.
The following are the main community facilities currently operating in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch
- Graiguenamanagh Playground
- Outdoor Activities Hub Graiguenamanagh
- Graiguenamanagh Parish Hall
- Graiguenamanagh Library
Graiguenamanagh Playground is located to the east of Fairview residential development within walking distance to Main Street and other attractions in the town. The playground also benefits from the presence of the public car park and has a good variety of timber equipment to accommodate a range of age groups.
Outdoor Activities Hub Graiguenamanagh is located on the eastern side of the River Barrow established in 2011. The purpose of this facility is to drive recreation tourism in the Barrow Valley and in particular the development and promotion of Graiguenamanagh as a hub for these activities. The vision for the Barrow Valley Activities Hub is to create an innovative outdoor venue that integrates education, economic and social resources of the Graiguenamanagh and Barrow Valley region by using the local attractive natural environment.
Graiguenamanagh Parish Hall located to the west of Graiguenamanagh Library along the R703. This building known as ‘Abbey Hall’ is situated on an elevated site. The building is currently in a very poor state of repair, detracts from the streetscape and is not accessible to wheelchair users or the elderly. It is intended to carry out refurbishment works on the building to deliver an age friendly amenity area and a games area for local youth and visiting families.
Graiguenamanagh Library is located to the east of the R703. This building was first constructed in 1986 and currently has 1,373 members and over 25,000 visitors per annum. The library is an important contributor to the educational and cultural life of the Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch community. However, the building does require maintenance and faces many challenges due to its traditional design which curtails modern service delivery and does not suit current library standards.
COM1 - Education, Childcare and Community Facilities
It is the policy of both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to facilitate and secure the provision of social infrastructure to support existing and new communities, in a manner, which provides flexibility to respond to varied, and changing community needs.
It is an objective of the Plan:
COM1.1: To support and facilitate improvements to existing educational, childcare and community facilities within the Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch LAP area.
COM1.2: To support and facilitate the refurbishment of the existing Parish Hall in Graiguenamanagh during the Plan period.
COM1.3: To support and facilitate the refurbishment and expansion of the existing library facility in Graiguenamanagh during the Plan period.
6.2 POSITIVE AGEING
According to the Department of Health, by the year 2036 the number of older people aged 65 and older living in Ireland is expected to increase by 250%. For County Kilkenny this would mean that the older population of 14,053 in 2016 will increase to 35,132 in 20 years time. For County Carlow this would mean that the older population of 7,357 in 2016 will increase to 18,392 in 20 years time.
Kilkenny Local Authority has been actively engaged in Age Friendly County Initiative since 2010 whilst Carlow Local Authorities has been engaged since 2011. The concept of an Age Friendly community is linked to an initiative of the World Health Organisation started in 2007. This initiative seeks to engage older people and their communities in making their communities better, healthier and safer places for older people to live and thrive. In 2017 Kilkenny County Council adopted Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy in the same year Carlow County Council adopted Carlow Age Friendly County Strategic Plan. These plans ensure that Age and Dementia Friendly design and planning principles are embedded in all local authority planning and development.
Positive ageing can be facilitated by means of various age friendly initiatives, including universal design and can be supported by the adoption of the appropriate development objectives to facilitate same. Planning and design policies of Kilkenny and Carlow will continue to be inclusive of age friendly designs and consistent with established best practices. Each local authority will also ensure that successful age friendly spaces, seating and parking are introduced throughout the County. This will also include age and dementia signage in all public buildings.
6.3 FUTURE PROVISION OF HOUSING
This Draft Joint LAP proposes a residential strategy of consolidation and infill, whereby new residential development will occur alongside existing development at locations which are proximate to both physical and social infrastructure. It is anticipated that housing will be provided both by the Council and the private sector during the period of the plan. New housing is catered for at various densities and in line with the Core Strategy.
The lands proposed for housing are designated according to the principle of compact growth, which supports the use of the land from the centre outwards. Accordingly, housing is prioritised on lands closer to the town centre. In addition to the provision of appropriate density developments closer to the town centre, the plan also provides for a limited number of serviced sites. It is anticipated that an appropriate mix of house types and densities will emerge based on the locational characteristics of each site.
6.3.1 Serviced Sites
There is continued pressure for development of single homes in the rural area surrounding Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. In accordance with National Policy Objective (NPO) 18b of Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework which makes provision to ‘Develop a programme for ‘new homes in small towns and villages’, local authorities, in combination with public infrastructure agencies such as Irish Water and local communities are encouraged to develop a programme for providing serviced sites with appropriate infrastructure to attract people to build their own homes and live in small towns and villages. This Draft Joint LAP seeks to address this NPO through the identification of ca. 3.52ha (Table 4.7) of land for low density serviced sites in Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch.
6.4 HOUSING ON LANDS ZONED FOR AGRICULTURE
Land within the agricultural zone will not be considered for intensive commercial or residential development during the lifetime of this Draft Joint LAP. This is considered to be a strategic reserve for the future development of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, which will allow for the strategic expansion of the plan area. Such designation is required to prevent urban generated development which would interfere with the operation of farming and prejudice the future planning and development of the area. On lands zoned for agriculture within the development boundary of the Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Draft Joint LAP, housing will be restricted to those who respectively comply with the rural housing policy set out in Section 3.5 of the Kilkenny County Development Plan and Section 2.7 of the Carlow County Development Plan or as maybe reviewed in forthcoming County Development Plans.
RD1 ‐ Residential Development
It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to ensure that sufficient zoned land continues to be available at appropriate locations in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch to satisfy the housing needs of the town.
It is an objective of the Plan:
RDO1.1: To ensure that sufficient zoned land is available at appropriate locations in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch to satisfy the housing needs of the settlement over the period of the plan.
RDO1.2: To require that all new residential development has regard to the character of the settlement(s), is of a high standard and provides for a sustainable mix of house types, sizes and tenures.
RDO1.3: To apply a 10% social housing requirement, pursuant to Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) to all sites that are zoned solely for residential use or for a mixture of residential and other uses (save where the development is exempt from the provisions of Part V).
RDO1.4: To facilitate the development of low density serviced sites on lands to the east of Graiguenamanagh Ring Road, as an alternative to rural housing and to stimulate future growth within the town
One of the key provisions of the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 is the Vacant Site Levy. The Act was designed to incentivise urban regeneration and promote increased housing supply. Beginning on 1st January 2017, Planning Authorities are required to compile and maintain a register of vacant land in their functional areas and to apply a levy in respect of such sites. A targeted approach to this scheme was applied to date in County Kilkenny, which has focused on the identified centres of Kilkenny City, Ferrybank, Castlecomer, Callan, Graiguenamanagh. Application of the vacant site levy in Carlow to-date has focused on the main urban centres of Carlow Town, Tullow and Muine Bheag. Carlow County Council intends to examine further lands within other towns and villages as appropriate to determine if there are sites where the Vacant Site Levy is applicable under the provisions of the Urban Housing and Regeneration Act 2015 and all associated regulations and guidance.
The Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Draft Joint LAP promotes, encourages and facilitates the appropriate development of sites identified as “residential land” in order to prevent adverse effects on existing amenities in such areas, in particular as a result of:
The ruinous or neglected condition of any land
Urban blight or decay
Anti-social behaviour or a shortage of habitable houses or of land suitable for residential use or a mixture of residential and other uses.
For the purpose of the vacant site levy the following zoning will be considered for the purpose of the Act in accordance with Kilkenny and Carlow County Development Plans:
Mixed Use, – enterprise and employment, and community facilities for regeneration purposes
All residential zonings for residential purposes
These zones will be examined to determine if there are sites where the Vacant Site Levy is applicable under the provisions of the Urban Housing and Regeneration Act 2015 and all associated regulations and guidance.
VS1: Vacant Sites
It is the policy of both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to apply the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act 1990 and the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch.
It is an objective of the Plan:
VSO1.1: To identify vacant sites in the settlement for regeneration and housing and establish and maintain a register of vacant sites (entitled the vacant sites register) in the plan area for the purpose of the Vacant Site Levy (Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015).
VSO1.2: To promote the sustainable development of vacant residential and regeneration sites in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch through the application of the Derelict Sites Act 1990 and Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, Vacant Site Levy, on lands zoned ‘Mixed Use’ for Regeneration and ‘New Residential’, ‘Low Density Residential’ and ‘Existing Residential’ for housing.