Mayor of Naas Cllr James Lawless has put forward a motion which called for Kildare County Council to consider a scheme whereby rates concessions be granted to retail main street properties where upstairs floors are used for residential use.
Cllr Lawless said “I think concession rates for those living in the upstairs of Main Street properties would encourage more people to live on our main streets and breathe some life back into town centres, particularly Naas town, if we were to encourage people to convert vacant space into residential space”.
Cllr Lawless added “I grew up above a shop myself where my father had a local business so I know the concept well. I believe this type of scheme may also contribute to the housing crisis by freeing up vacant space for residential accommodation in central locations. Ultimately the response from the Council was disappointing. Whilst the council could consider it, the scheme would have to be approved by the Minister for Local Government and no Minister since 1970 has approved any council rates schemes”.