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Halt Development At Floods Cross For Ukrainian Refugees Amid Contract Uncertainty, Says Local Councillor

Friday, 16 February 2024 15:41

By Martin Osborne and Eoin Beatty

Cllr Chris Pender said Pastures New Ltd might have applied for a planning exemption but it's his understanding that they haven't.

Work should stop at a development at Floods Cross in Naas for Ukrainian refugees until the Department of Integration provides clarification on whether or not a contract has been signed for the work to be carried out, according to Cllr. Chris Pender.

There is uncertainty whether a contract exists for the development at the site near Floods Cross for Ukrainian refugees between the developer of the site and the State.

The site is expected to be an 'Arrival Centre' for Ukrainian refugees, with an estimated capacity of up to 950.

Cllr. Pender said Pastures New Ltd might have applied for a planning exemption but it's his understanding that they haven't done that.

In March 2022, Regulation SI 306 of 2022 was introduced to exempt certain government development projects from regular rules.

These exemptions apply to projects helping people displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Kildare County Council reviews accommodation proposals within the county, according to these rules.

Kfm understands that technical discussions are ongoing.

Kfm has seen correspondence between Kildare County Council and Councillors, which indicates that no formal planning application has been submitted for the Newhall centre by Pastures New Ltd.

Kildare County Council is believed to be reviewing its options regarding the development.

Kfm understands that the council has engaged solicitors, who are believed to have issued pre-litigation letters to the landowner and developer.

Kildare County Council says it has engaged with the Department of Integration since the commencement of this development and the Department has been informed that pre-litigation letters have been issued.

In a statement this afternoon, a spokesperson for Kildare County Council said: "To Kildare County Council’s knowledge contracts have not been signed with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) and we would expect to be notified when contracts have been signed."

They added: "The reason why contracts have not been signed is a matter for DCEIDY as Kildare County Council has no input into the contract between DCEDIY and the proposer."

Kfm has also contacted the Department of Integration and Pastures New Ltd. for comment.

A reply is awaited from both. 

 

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