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Waterways Ireland To Submit Planning Applications on Barrow Way Upgrades

7th December 2016
An upgraded Barrow line will provide a 'multi-use shared leisure route' connecting Lowtown in County Kildare to St. Mullins in County Carlow An upgraded Barrow line will provide a 'multi-use shared leisure route' connecting Lowtown in County Kildare to St. Mullins in County Carlow

Waterways Ireland will submit planning applications to Kildare, Laois and Carlow County Councils in December 2016 for upgrades to the Barrow Way-marked Way.

The planning submission is an application for the upgrading of the existing navigation towpath which is also a National Way-marked Way along the Grand Canal – Barrow Line and the River Barrow. It will provide a multi-use shared leisure route connecting Lowtown in County Kildare to St. Mullins in County Carlow. The trail will follow through the towns of Rathangan, Monasterevin, Vicarstown, Athy, Carlow, Leighlinbridge, Bagenalstown, Goresbridge, Graiguenamanagh and St. Mullins. Once the work is complete on the 115km route, Waterways Ireland will work with the local business and tourism providers to develop the route into a Blueway, a 'slow' tourism product, focusing on leisure activities.

The proposal to develop the Barrow towpath originates from the 2011 Barrow Corridor Recreational, Tourism and Commercial Product Identification Study where Fáilte Ireland, Waterways Ireland, Carlow County Development Partnership, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and the four local authorities worked together to examine strategic leisure and recreational opportunities for the Barrow Valley. The group, the Barrow Steering Group, commissioned research and proposals were published for sustainable recreational and tourism development programmes which balance the need for economic development with the protection of the environment. As the Authority charged with managing the Grand Canal & Barrow Navigation, Waterways Ireland took the lead on the design phase for the proposed route. Extensive public consultation on the project took place in 2014 and Waterways Ireland proceeded to undertake a comprehensive and robust design and environmental assessment of the route to ensure the proposal was sympathetic to the receiving environment.

The planning applications may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the three planning authorities during their public opening hours. In addition, the file may be accessed online through the planning authority's e-planning portals. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee (€20) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application. Due to the Christmas Holidays an extra 9 days have been added to the process to ensure that as many people as possible have an opportunity to make a submission.

Advertisements have been placed in both national and regional newspapers to maximise awareness of the applications in compliance with planning requirements. Waterways Ireland are also advertising the planning application on our website / social media and have contacted those who registered following the 2014 public consultation to ensure members of the public have every opportunity to engage with the planning process.

Beyond the planning requirements Waterways Ireland is also hosting a series of Public Information Sessions where engineering and environmental staff will be in attendance to share the plans for each area so that everyone has the opportunity to be fully aware of what is planned before submitting their comments to the planning authorities. These events are taking place as follows:

County

Date

Time

Venue

Carlow

16th January 2017

3pm - 7pm

Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow

Kilkenny

17th January 2017

3pm - 7pm

Scout Hall, Graiguenamanagh

Kildare

18th January 2017

3pm - 7pm

Athy Community Library, Athy

Laois

19th January 2017

3pm - 7pm

Vicarstown Inn, Vicarstown

 

Leave a comment

2 comments

  • Comment Link Rüdiger Steinacher 22nd December 2016 posted by Rüdiger Steinacher

    It would be really nice if the River Barrow was finally expanded so that even larger yachts could drive safely there?

  • Comment Link Susan Devane 14th December 2016 posted by Susan Devane

    I'm objecting to this plan. A cycle path is not suitable for a route used traditionally by walkers, and the natural, unspoiled beauty of the place will be exploited and ultimately ruined by this plan. I am involved in local tourism, but do not feel this scheme will have a positive impact on tourism.

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