This proposal follows from a proposed change of use of the former Wandesforde Estate Lands for use as a mixed use.
The original draft has a secondary access from the site to Love Lane which was abandoned. This has now been moved to Chatsworth Street.
Existing Usages on Chatsworth Street.
Chatsworth street has a mixed usage of residential and commercial properties. The land for the proposed road is not in public ownership.
There are 6 business premises on the street including some of the busiest in the town namely Rowe’s Topline Hardware, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers., Castlecomer Post Office and Loading area for Eurospar, Restaurant, Shop and practitioners.
Existing traffic Patterns
This narrow street is insufficient in width and capacity for a large influx of traffic that would be generated by this development. There is considerable on street parking for patrons of existing businesses. The street becomes jammed with traffic easily and it becomes difficult for residents and businesses to function.
Loading and offloading for the existing EuroSpar supermarket takes place on Chatsworth Street with lorries parked on the street at various times. This leads to serious traffic congestion that will be further exacerbated by this proposed intersection
A roadway such as this will encourage traffic to use it and create a constant flow of traffic disruption the day to day discourse of business on the street in favour of another business.
Rowe’s Topline Hardware, Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers and the Post Office are existing established businesses on this street and will be severely impacted by this proposal. Traffic movements into this premises will be disrupted by the access and egress of traffic from this point. In addition, all "On Street" parking will be removed to facilitate traffic movements at this new intersection.
In addition, with the coming into operation of the former "Comerama Plant" large volumes additional commercial and car traffic will be using Chatsworth Street. This will see this street up to its traffic carrying capacity, and is welcomed, as this factory has been in existence since 1970.
Chatsworth Street leads onto Regional Road R426 which connects Castlecomer to Portlaoise and consequently is a heavily trafficked route. This narrow street is barely able to accommodate the level of traffic currently using it without the addition of a major intersection causing traffic build ups. Unfortunately, a roadway such as this
will encourage traffic away from the Ballinakill road exit which must be the main exit, as land was acquired for that purpose.
This street is a 50kph zone and therefore any new intersections will require to meet the standards set out in the National Roads Authority Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. The visibility requirement for this type of intersection is 70m in each direction taken from a point 2.4 from the road edge. There is insufficient stopping distance for vehicles making left turning movements into this proposed road from Chatsworth Street. To meet this standard will require the removal of the entire front boundary and lawn of an adjoining residential property. The entire removal of three street facing residential properties and the consequential realignment of the entire streetscape. This to be done on ACA area.
This will alter little even if the speed limit is reduced.
This proposed access and exit will impact on the residential amenity of the existing residents on Chatsworth Street. The street is home to many residents from family home to elderly residents. This street has been safe for all residents and the addition of this intersection will severely impact on this. It should (and is) be the policy of Kilkenny County Council to encourage and maintain residential usage in the town centre. This should not be threatened nor undermined by the local authority who’s stated function is to serve the residents of the County part of who’s functional area is Castlecomer forms a part. This proposal will have the opposite effect by creating a "rat run" through this street decimating on street parking. The primary concern here has to the for the existing users and residents of the street and the proper consideration of the planning and development of the town centre and not narrow consideration of potential multinational interests or a quick fix. The development of the shopping facility can be achieved without this exit/entrance and the disruption it will cause.
It must be borne in mind that no one will use the Ballinakill road Access/Exit point if this intersection is permitted and therefore render the whole project unviable.
This proposal is undesirable and unworkable and should be omitted as an objective from the plan. It does not meet the standards required for such an intersection and will be disruptive to the existing usage of the street to the extent that it may not be feasible for business to continue which will lead to dereliction and lack of investment in the town centre. This must be considered in formulating such plans, as so much has been done by the private sector in the last few years to enhance the town centre and bring people back to live in the centre.
One way or the other it does not meet the technical standards for such an inter section and therefore un unviable on technical and planning grounds. It is therefore in contravention of the proper planning and development of the area. Which hopefully is the aim of this Draft Plan.
The Ballinakill road egress is the main exit point from this site and the land has been acquired for this purpose. This exit will serve traffic exiting the site from the Portlaoise side and neighbouring areas such as Clogh, The Swan and Moneenroe (which would be substantial). The would relieve the pressure on Chatsworth Street and make the development of the entire site more viable.
This newly proposed entrance/exit to this development is unnecessary and the plan is made unviable by its inclusion.
Encls. Drawing showing visibility Requirements