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New plans for New Street, Finan’s, Áras and car parks unveiled

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The Killarney Municipal District has unveiled a draft local area plan for the next six years and there are some interesting developments on the cards for the likes of New Street, St Finan’s and the Áras Phádraig. There are also plans in place to tackle the traffic and parking issues plaguing the town.

The plan has set out 20 objectives in total in the categories of Residential Development, Opportunity Sites/Regeneration, Arts, Heritage and Culture, and Roads/Infrastructure. A period of pre draft public consultation ran from December 8, 2016 to January 26, 2017 during which the public were invited to make submissions/observations.

It is hoped to facilitate the development of 685 residential units within the settlement boundary, and particular mention is made to New Street which has been identified as an area where residential regeneration is necessary.

“A residential regeneration area contains vacant properties that can be brought back into use as new homes,” the plan states. “It is proposed that any vacant commercial units within these predominant residential areas be converted to residential use.”

The disused St Finan’s Hospital and adjacent grounds have long been slated for redevelopment and this extensive draft plan also lays out aims for the iconic site. The goal, according to the Municipal District, is “to sustainably preserve and develop this large landmark building and associated brownfield site as a new mixed use urban area in order to ensure a sustainable urban extension to existing facilities and infrastructure.”

“Any future development will need to protect and enhance the existing character and views of the hospital building,” the plan continues. “The site has potential for significant mixed use development, including a cultural/tourist use.

“Development on the site should incorporate a strong social and community element which reflects the historic use of the site particularly with respect to improvements to the public realm and the development of civic amenity. In line with this 30% of the total site shall be set aside for social/community use.”

The old Áras Phádraig, located close to the town centre, has been another bone of contention for the people of Killarney for years and here at the Killarney Advertiser we have called for the redevelopment of the area as a civic plaza (see artist’s impression). Officials now say the aim for this site is to sustainably re-develop it as a mixed cultural/heritage/community use with associated car-parking provisions. We are pleased to hear that this is now the official plan and we look forward to seeing how the project progresses.

It’s no secret that traffic and parking are major problems in the town and the draft plan outlines a number of objectives to tackle these issues, such as implementing traffic management measures, providing bus set-down areas/shelters and bicycle parking, creating more cycle lanes and providing car parks at suitable locations on approach roads throughout the town.

The latter is likely to come as a bit of a surprise to locals, some of whom have expressed their view that additional parking is required in the town centre itself.

Kerry County Council has a statutory obligation to secure the implementation of the objectives of the Killarney Municipal District Local Area Plan. The plan itself can be viewed online in the planning section of the Kerry County Council website (www.kerrycoco.ie).

Submissions are currently being accepted and will be taken up until June 15. What do you think of the objectives outlined in the new plan? What are your ideas? Let us know via newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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Pedestrianisation poll: Our readers have their say

By Sean Moriarty The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it. A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it.

A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to traffic on a permanent basis while 24.76 want it to go back to its pre-pandemic arrangement where the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am each night.

An additional 34.29 percent want to see an increase in pedestrianisation in town centre by extending the Main St arrangement that was in place during the summer. In that period the town’s main thoroughfare was closed to traffic, day and night, during the weekend.

Only 20 percent of the respondents want to abolish pedestrianisation altogether, but that is still a significant number ensuring that this debate will linger on for a long time yet.

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National television exposure for local campaign

By Michelle Crean A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign. Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – […]

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By Michelle Crean

A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign.

Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – invited journalist Paul Byrne and Virgin Media TV crew to town this week.

It’s hoped their campaign will be broadcast tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

The KCRU event takes place tomorrow in ANAM Arts and Cultural Centre between 10.30am and 4pm as part of the European Restart a Heart Day. It’ll include CPR demos, public information, an art display, a video launch w️ith many prizes to be won.

“The crew interviewed Community Responder Helen Duggan who explained the events taking place on Saturday,” Kevin O’Leary from KCRU told the Killarney Advertiser.

“European Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European parliament and takes place on October 16 every year. We’re spreading the message that 20 minutes of your time could make all the difference saving a life.”

In 2021, the focus of the event is on survivors with the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife.

“With this campaign we want to create awareness that everyone can learn CPR and facilitate BLS courses in schools and public locations.”

He said they hope that Kerry TDs Danny Healy-Rae, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Education Norma Foley will be in attendance throughout the day, and the public are invited to attend.

“Find out how simple actions can save lives. Prizes include a three day First Aid course valued at €300, two First Aid kits, and a voucher for a local business.”

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