Public’s view sought on Kilbeggan Offaly greenway proposal
A public consultation process has begun on the proposed Kilbeggan branch of the Grand Canal Greenway linking to the Offaly county boundary.
It is intended that the proposal will form part of an overall strategic link between the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal, and a joined-up approach to the overall delivery of the link is being undertaken by Westmeath County Council, Offaly County Council and Waterways Ireland.
The project consists of a shared walking and cycling greenway route, rough 1.8 metres to 3 metres in width, along the towpath of the former Kilbeggan branch of the Grand Canal for a distance of 5.6km.
The route of the proposed shared greenway is from Kilbeggan Harbour on the northern end to the county boundary with Offaly at the Silver River aqueduct on the southern end.
The route tracks the southern and western towpath from the Kilbeggan Harbour Buildings until Grange Bridge, where it crosses to the eastern towpath, from Grange Bridge to the county boundary.
The Offaly section of the Grand Canal comprises approximately 70 kilometres from Edenderry to Shannon Harbour.
The proposed development, which is the subject of this Part 8 planning process, will include improvements to the existing towpath through the provision of a surface such as surface dressing and quarry dust; the provisions of traffic safety measures and signage to facilitate safe pedestrian and cycling crossings at junctions with public roads; access controls such as pedestrian and cycling friendly gates or bollards where required; and all ancillary works.
The proposed development is located adjacent to nine protected structures – the Silver River Aqueduct, Lowertown Bridge, Grange Bridge, Skeahanagh Bridge , outbuilding Skeahanagh, a thatched house at Skeahanagh, a former harbour master’s house at Kilbeggan, detached 15-bay two-storey former canal warehouses and stores, and the Kilbeggan Branch Grand Canal Harbour and dock complex.
The proposed scheme has undergone Appropriate Assessment Screening under the Habitats Directive and screening for Environmental Impact Assessment.
It has been determined, following a preliminary examination, that there will be no real likelihood of significant effects on the environment, arising from the proposed development, and therefore an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required.
Any person may, within four weeks from the date of notice (May 7 to Tuesday June 18 2019) apply to An Bord Pleanála for a screening determination as to whether the proposed development would be likely to have a significant effect on the environment.
Plans of the proposed development will be available for inspection, or purchase at a fee, online on westmeathcoco.ie and at Westmeath County Council Offices, Áras an Chontae, Mount Street, Mullingar up to and including Tuesday June 18 next.
Written submissions or observations in relation to the proposed development should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and titled ‘Proposed Kilbeggan Greenway’, up to Tuesday June 18 inclusive.