Firstly, I am excited about the draft plan and targets for Kilkenny City and County. The ambition in the plan will no doubt lead to an increased quality of life for the residents for years to come.
However, I am concerned about one area.
Section 6.2 of the draft plan states ‘It is the policy of the Council to make our city… more attractive and ‘liveable’ places that will offer a quality of life that more people are willing to choose in the years ahead.’ Those who have purchased homes in the Rath Ullord housing estate (beginning in 2010) have chosen that ‘quality of life’ based on a site plan that lived up to the low density zoning. I believe it is important that this land remain low density in the new plan. It would be difficult for anyone buying a home in a new development to have confidence in what they are purchasing, if zoning were able to change mid-development. To this end, a continuation of the current zoning for existing developments would send an important message to developers. The phased basis of the Rath Ullord development should not be considered as ‘new developments’. It is essential that the zoning remain and it be treated as one development.
Section 6.4 of the draft plan states ‘housing provision for a total of 4,307 new households will be required to meet the population targets set for County Kilkenny.’ I appreciate that to meet this target, zoning will need to be adjusted. However, as stated in the paragraph above, it is essential that when a development has started, people can have confidence that the zoning will remain the same until it is completed. Otherwise a lack of trust will inevitably build up between the people seeking to buy into these housing schemes and the council that is supposed to serve them.
The zoning of unfinished residential developments should remain the same until developers have completed the scheme.
I and all other current home owners have purchased homes in Rath Ullord based on a low-density site plan. The development is ongoing and split into phases. I fear and expect that the developers will make drastic changes to the site plans should the land be re-zoned. Residents in housing developments should be able to have confidence that their home and surrounding area is completed in the way they were told it would be.