Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The South East Greenway, linking New Ross to Waterford, continues to progress well.  Photo: Paul Harney  

A PART 10 planning application will be required for a new link road in Ferrybank which, if approved, will run from the Abbey Road to Belmont Road.  

Addressing May’s Piltown Municipal District meeting on Wednesday last, Kilkenny County Council’s Planning and Economic Director of Services, Sean McKeown, reminded councillors that the link road will also provide access to the proposed Greenway trailhead car park.  

This, he added, explained why the link road application had to progress prior to any planning application for the car park.  

He explained: “A Part 8 planning application, which was our initial preference, is no longer possible and that would have allowed for a preliminary design so the consultants that were engaged for the preliminary design will now need to re-tender. We’re now going to have to tender for consultants to do a detailed design because a Part 10 planning application to An Bord Pleanála requires a detailed rather than a preliminary design.”  

Mr McKeown said he didn’t expect this matter “to hold up the project in any way”. He noted: “The (Greenway) car parks are all locked up into Lot 8 (of the South East Greenway project) which is the final tender to be issued towards the end of that project.”   

The link road proposal is one of three projects which Kilkenny County Council put forward as part of Waterford City & County Council’s successful Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) application for the North Quays project.  

The Part 10 was required, Mr McKeown added, “because of the treatment and collection of stormwater which ultimately ends up in the SAC (Special Area of Conservation) area so in order to remove all ambiguity, we have decided to go straight to the Board to deal with that”.   

Mapping completed for land transfer 

Meanwhile, the detailed mapping of the greenway route, which has been completed by the Council’s Roads Section, will be forwarded to CIE to facilitate the transfer of the lands to the three local authorities.  

In addition, a Route Options Report for the Greenway links to both Slieverue and Glenmore is expected to be submitted to the Council by Roadplan Consulting Ltd in the coming days, according to Mr McKeown.  

The prospect of an off-road greenway link to Woodstock Estate near Inistioge (which doesn’t have funding at present) will also be subject to a Feasibility Study and Route Selection Report. Mr McKeown said the proposal is likely to be presented to the Council by a tendered consultant before the end of this year.  

Such a route is likely to be 12 kilometres in length from the New Ross end of the Greenway and is likely to run through “sizeable tracts of Coillte lands”.  

Mr McKeown said such an add-on to the Greenway represented “10 times the size in terms of length and 10 times the scale and challenges that you’d have from Slieverue to Glenmore… but the first thing to do is to look at what’s possible”.  

Landowner agreements on accommodation works required on Lots 4-7 of the Greenway are progressing according to the Council, with Lot 5a from Ferrybank to Luffany “almost ready to go to tender”. Lot 5b, which runs through a partly rock-faced area from Luffany to Aylwardstown South, will go to tender in July. Mr McKeown said “a little bit of stablisation” work is required there prior to the construction of the greenway surface itself due to some rock, which has come loose there in recent months.  

Meanwhile, Lots 1 and 3, which includes the Ferrybank Urban Section, are “approaching substantial completion” with the Council in talks with CIE about opening those sections in advance of the 24-kilometre Greenway’s scheduled completion in the autumn of 2023. 

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