Last night (July 11th) I chaired my first monthly meeting of Letterkenny Town Council as Mayor of Letterkenny.
Most issues on the meeting ran smoothly, but there was one major issue which dominated the meeting.
Donegal County Council had proposed a re-alignment of a proposed road in the Killylastin / Windy Hall area of Letterkenny. As the road is featured on the Letterkenny and Environs Development Plan, the plan required the consent of Letterkenny Town Council before it could become official policy, and a part of the Development Plan.
The consultation of this proposal, and the treatment of the residents in the area affected, was without doubt the most poorly-handled issue I’ve seen in my time as a Public Representative. The families that will be most affected by any proposed change in the road were treated extremely poorly by the County Council.
This proposal was rejected last night at the meeting. Some councillors highlighted the treatment of the residents as their reason for the rejection.
This is a major issue, and was raised by every single councillor. Another issue which led to the rejection of the plan was the rezoning of land in the area from “Strategic Residential Reserve” to “Residential”. This would have meant opening further lands for development in one of the most densely-populated areas of Letterkenny. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I was (and am) unwilling to support any proposal which would see more development in the Glencar Scotch area of Letterkenny without a proper Master Plan to outline how the development would fill the infrastructural deficit that exists in an area which has seen such huge growth in recent years, without any associated development in open spaces, green areas, community or sporting facilities.
Letterkenny Town Council has been criticised for the development of that area of the town. By reserving these lands as “Strategic Residential Reserve” we have shown a willingness to address these issues.