Killenard & District Development Association

The K.D.D.A Ltd (Killenard & District Development Association) was a very active group in the Killenard area until it was officially wound up in 2012.

The aim of the group was to be the voice of the entire community, to develop the entrepreneurial, social and cultural content of the town and to plan for future development. Local people acknowledged the need for change but felt that it was important to have their own plans incorporated in all future development processes.

Five areas which the Development Association concentrated on were identified and from this, five sub-groups were formed as follows:

  • Education Training
  • Enterprise and Trade
  • Environment
  • Youth, Sport and Recreation
  • Tourism, Arts and Heritage

The K.D.D.A Ltd was a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

The Killenard and District Development Association was formed at a public meeting held in the Killenard Community Centre on the 15th of September 2004 in response to the large amount of urban style development that was occurring in the area. There was a grave concern in the local community that these developments, if unchecked, would eventually encompass the entire Killenard area, totally destroying its rural character.

The Killenard and District Development Association began the task of examining all planned developments by considering the nature of the village and its surrounding countryside with regard to its existing services and infrastructure.

We held meetings with members of various departments in Laois County Council and we lobbied our local County Councillors with a view to curtailing the sporadic nature of the developments until the infrastructure at least could be upgraded to cope with the expected population and traffic growth.

With regard to this, we drafted a submission to the 2005 Laois Draft County Development plan which outlined our ideas on the future of Killenard and its surrounding areas.

Despite our concerns over the way in which Killenard is being built upon we are not an anti-development association. It is our wish that all development in the area should be sustainable, sensible and sympathetic to the rural nature of Killenard. It is our wish that proper sensibilities should be shown in the style and aesthetics of any future developments.

Committee Members from Nov 2009:-

Chairperson Robert Stafford
Co-chairperson Stephen O’Leary
Treasurer Enda Behan
Secretary Eibhlin Smith
Public Relations Michael Geraghty, Margaret Rose

The following is the full text of the Killenard and District Development Association’s submission to Laois County Council in relation to the 2005 Laois Draft County Development Plan.

A Submission on behalf of the Killenard and District Development Association to the 2005 Laois County Development Plan.



In respect to the large amount of development that has occurred in the Killenard area in recent years, the Killenard and District Development association would like to propose the items listed in the following sections for inclusion in the County Development plan 2005. Our wish is to prevent the spread of unsympathetic and unsustainable developments that may otherwise continue unchecked and to make provision for affordable amenities for the benefit of the local population.
As a result of the new developments mentioned above, the area now has a large volume of suburban style housing with an increased population situated in a rural setting which has had no improvements or upgrades made to the existing narrow rural roads. There has been no additional street lighting, traffic safety features, amenities, shops or post office provided.

The roads, such as they are, have already had their verges badly damaged and are pot holed along considerable stretches by the increased volume of construction trucks and lorries which are currently making motoring, cycling and walking more dangerous than before.

As determined by the conditions related to recently awarded planning permissions, many of the recommended improvements to Roads and Infrastructure are the responsibility of the developers, but as yet, none of these conditions have been implemented.

In respect to new amenities it may be argued that although there is a championship golf course and associated facilities in the area, the cost of membership is prohibitive to 99% of the local community, and construction employment notwithstanding, is therefore of little benefit to the community at large.

It is hoped that our suggestions will be taken into consideration to help insure the restoration of the good quality of life that people have, until recently, been enjoying in the local community.

Click here to view local map

Area Boundary

Area Boundary relating to this submission is as described on MAP 2.20a – KILLENARD, on the Laois County Council Draft County Development Plan, February 2005.

Please refer to the attached edited copy of MAP 2.20a – KILLENARD for the following recommendations by the Killenard and District Development Association.

Area 1: The Heritage Golf and Country Club and existing recent housing developments. This area, including the Par 3 golf course, bowling green and walking path should be preserved as an amenity area.

Area 2, Agricultural areas zoned for Development: Any future developments for these areas should have minimum density housing (see Housing Density). The Developer of these areas should also provide sports and recreational facilities such as soccer grounds, basketball courts, athletic tracks or equestrian facilities as part of their developments.

Area 3: Mount St Anne’s Retreat house and environs: This is preserved as an historical, spiritual and recreational area.
Provision should be made for an affordable community crèche close to the community centre which would incorporate a playground. This area also allows for future expansion of the graveyard and the community centre.

Area 4: Existing single rural housing and existing rural housing schemes.

Area 5, Agricultural areas: These areas should be preserved and protected as areas of natural beauty and as such should not be zoned for development.

Roads and Infrastructure

A planning condition for The Heritage Golf and Country Club instructed the developers to carry out road improvements from Mount Henry Cross to Duke Street bridge. To date these improvements have not been implemented. We submit that these improvements be made, or noted as required, in the county development plan.

In addition to this we also submit the following:-

  • That a bicycle lane should be created from Duke Street bridge to O Dempseys GAA Club for children using O Dempseys GAA club grounds. The existence of this would greatly improve the safety of school children on this stretch of increasingly dangerous road.
  • That speed ramps and public footpaths must be constructed within the 50kph speed limits in the vicinity of Saint Johns National School.
  • That a pedestrian crossing be constructed close to the Community Centre to enable children and parents to safely cross the road.
  • That public lighting should be erected from Duke street bridge through Killenard village in a style complimenting the area which would include the provision of underground power supplies.
  • That before any future developments are considered that roads and infrastructural upgrades should first be in place prior to the start of any construction.

Sports and Recreation

The only local sport and recreation club in the area not requiring an expensive membership fee is O Dempseys GAA Club. With the impending population growth (the new estates are not yet fully occupied) there is an immediate need for further areas to be allocated for football, athletics, equestrian and other recreation activities. For details of possible locations for these amenities please refer to Area Boundary Related to this Submission, Area 2.

There is a need for an affordable community creche and playground to support the growing population. For details of a possible location for this please refer to Area Boundary Related to this Submission, Area 3.

Housing Density.

In areas such as Killenard and its surrounding townlands there is an urgent need to protect its rural character and curtail the proliferation of dense housing developments such as those already under construction.

A recent ruling by an Bord Pleanala in which it refused planning permission for a local proposed development stated that four houses per acre is too dense for this area.

We ask that this ruling to be taken into account when further developments are put forward to the Planning Department for consideration.

In the matter of local people applying for planning permission for one-off housing we would encourage Laois County Council planners to allow this as per the new rural housing policy.


We would request that the following items are protected and preserved as historical amenities or other under the Laois County Development Plan 2005.

  • All existing stonework and stone walls in the area, particularly from Duke Street Bridge to Mount Henry Cross, including the walled garden at Goodwins.
  • All existing stone walls from Mount Henry Cross to the west side of the Lea Church.
  • The ruins of the windmill on Windmill hill.
  • Any improvement made to the roads should take these items into consideration.