Are the needs of a commercial development being put ahead of providing people with homes in Kilkenny City’s newest area?
That’s the question being asked by one local councillor.
When the Abbey Quarter Master Plan was devised for the old Brewery site there were nine phases, the third of which was to be the delivery of community housing.
Cllr Maria Dollard’s been telling KCLR News that while she welcomes the great work done there to date, in particular with the provision of the Skate Park and the Linear Park, there appears to be no progress with accomodation.
She says “One of the last decisions of the outgoing council was to transfer a piece of land to a hotel developer based in Dublin so that they can increase the size of their boutique hotel on Vicar Street, now this piece of land was part of a plot that was earmarked for community housing and last week the council gave planning permission to the hotel for a 16m high, 65 bedroom extension to this hotel and there are no car parking spaces but then this week a planning application has been lodged by the Kilkenny Abbey Quarter Development Partnership for a 120 space car park across the road on the Abbey Quarter site”.
Cllr Dollard adds “So my concern is that the hotel beds and parking are being prioritised over homes for people on the housing list in Kilkenny, I think we need to revisit the Master Plan from the perspective of our new situation with, you know, the pandemic and the ongoing housing crisis and an emphasis on sustainable cities and towns and we need to prioritise peoples’ homes over commercial development”.