WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL
NOTICE PURSUANT TO: SECTION 177AE(4)OF THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000 (AS AMENDED) AND THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS 2001 (AS AMENDED)
Development of a Greenway in Blessington, Co. Wicklow
Notice of Planning Application to An Bord Pleanála for Approval
Notice is hereby given that Wicklow County Council intends to seek the approval of An Bord Pleanála under Section 177AE of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) to carry out a proposed development encompassing the Blessington Lake/Poulaphouca Reservoir SPA that will pass through the following townlands in the Counties of Wicklow and Kildare - Blessington , Haylands , Knockieran Lower, Knockieran Upper, Carrig, Sroughan, Lacken, Ballynastockan, Ballyknockan, Carrigacurra, Annacarney, Valleymount, Monamuck, Humphrystown , Baltyboys Upper, Baltyboys Lower, Burgage Moyle, Russellstown, Russborough, Rathballylong, Tulfarris, Glebe East, and Burgage More and passing adjacent to the villages of Valleymount, Ballyknockan and Lacken before returning to Blessington at Knockiernan Bridge.
The Proposed Development is proposed to provide a predominately off-road shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists. The Proposed Development will cover approximately 33 km and involve the provision and upgrading of a greenway mostly through forest and woodlands adjacent to the shoreline of the Blessington Lake/Poulaphouca Reservoir SPA.
Traffic lights are proposed at three existing bridge crossings (Knockiernan Bridge, Baltyboys Bridge and Valleymount Bridge) to manage a new shuttle system for vehicular traffic. This will create space within the existing bridge cross section for the provision of a shared use path to accommodate users of the Greenway.
The greenway surface construction is proposed to consist of a machine laid, bound pavement. A 20 mm surface course is proposed to be laid on a 40 mm to 55 mm base course on 150 mm Clause 804 subbase on a geotextile layer as required. Construction works will require shallow excavation (maximum depth of 200 mm - 300 mm), tree removal and replacement, placement of culverts, single span bridges over larger streams, fencing and minor landscaping.
The Proposed Development is divided into six sections and is proposed to comprise of the following.
1. Blessington – The Blessington section of the Proposed Development extends from the Wicklow County Council boundary at Russellstown to Blessington. The section comprises 9.2 km in length. This section is proposed to consist of new greenway and the upgrade of existing sections along the route with a connection to Russborough House via an existing underpass of the N81. It is proposed to extend the capacity of the Russellstown car park with an additional 50 car spaces. Works to both the Russellstown car park and the Blessington Greenway Hub and car park will provide electric vehicle charging points, bicycle parking, bins, seating areas, drinking water stations and CCTV. There is 1 no. new watercourse crossing included in this section while several existing crossings are to be retained.
2. Baltyboys – The Baltyboys section of the Proposed Development extends from the Blessington section to the Valleymount section. This section comprises 5.3 km in length. Works to the Valleymount West car park and Baltyboys car park will provide electric vehicle charging points, bike parking, bins, seating, drinking water stations and CCTV. Precast box culverts and gabion retaining walls will be required within this section to construct the Proposed Development. There are approximately 5 no. small watercourses/ditches crossings along this section.
3. Tulfarris – The Tulfarris section of the Proposed Development connects the Baltyboys section to Tulfarris via the R758. This section comprises 3.7 km in length. This section is proposed to consist of new greenway and share the existing road to connect with the Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort. There are approximately 2 no. new small watercourse/ditch crossings along its length.
4. Valleymount – The Valleymount section of the Proposed Development extends from Baltyboys to Ballyknockan. This section comprises 5.2 km in length commencing at the Valleymount carpark, which is located adjacent to Valleymount GAA Club. Works to the two carparks in Valleymount East and West will provide electric vehicle charging points, bicycle parking, bins, seating areas, drinking water stations, and CCTV. Precast box culverts and gabion retaining walls will be required within this section. There are approximately 3 no. small watercourses/ditches crossed by the Proposed Development in this section as well as a crossing of the Annacarney Stream.
5. Ballyknockan – The Ballyknockan section of the Proposed Development extends from Ballyknockan to Lacken. This section comprises 4.3 km in length. Gabion retaining walls will be required within this section. Due to the high ground to the east there are a few small tributaries on this section with approximately 13 no. small watercourses/ditches requiring to be accommodated by the Proposed Development.
6. Lacken – The Lacken section of the Proposed Development extends from Lacken to Knockiernan Bridge. This section comprises 5.6 km in length. The section involves new greenway construction. Precast box culverts, concrete underpasses, and gabion retaining walls will be required within this section. It is proposed to extend the capacity of the Knockiernan car park with an additional 50 car spaces. Works to both Knockiernan and Lacken car park will provide electric vehicle charging points, bicycle parking, bins, seating areas, drinking water stations, and CCTV. The eastern side of the lake has many small tributaries which will require the Proposed Development to accommodate approximately 7 no. small watercourses/ditches.
Signage will be provided to incorporate visitor information, way-finding information, heritage information and advisory/regulatory information in proximity to road crossings. All signage will be subject to full specification at detailed design stage of the project in accordance with national technical standards and guidance.
A Natura Impact Statement has been prepared as part of the application for approval in respect of the proposed development.
An Bord Pleanála may give approval to the application for development with or without conditions or may refuse the application for development.
A copy of the plans and particulars of the proposed development and the Natura Impact Statement will be available for inspection free of charge between 20th January 2022 to 4th March 2022 (Inclusive of both dates) at the following locations:
- The consultation website of Wicklow County Council
www.wicklow.ie/Living/ConsultationHub – At all hours
- The offices of Wicklow County Council, County Buildings, Station Road, Co. Wicklow,
Opening hours, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm. (excluding bank and public holidays)
- Baltinglass Municipal District, Civic Offices, Blessingtion Business Park, Blessington, Co. Wicklow
Opening hours - Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm. (excluding bank and public holidays)
- Blessington Library, New Town Centre, Blessington, Co. Wicklow
Opening hours- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm (excluding bank and public holidays)
Tuesday and Thursday 10.00am – 8.00pm (excluding bank and public holidays)
- The offices of An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 .
Between the hours of 9:15am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday (Excluding bank and Public Holidays)
For a period of six weeks.
The Natura Impact Statement and the Plans and Particulars of the proposed development may be inspected free of charge at the locations above or purchased at a cost of €50.
Any submissions and observations on the proposed development in relation to;
i. the implications of the proposed development for proper planning and sustainable development in the area concerned,
ii. the likely effects on the environment of the proposed development, and
iii. the likely significant effects of the proposed development on a European Site, if carried out,
may be made in writing to An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902.
Any submission/observation must be received by An Bord Pleanála not later than 5.30pm on 4th March 2022.
A person may question the validity of any such decision by An Bord Pleanála by way of an application for judicial review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986) in accordance with section 50 of the Planning and Development Acts, 2000 as amended.
Practical information on the review mechanism can be accessed under the heading Publications – Judicial Review Notice on the Board’s website www.pleanala.ie or on the Citizens Information website www.citizensinformation.ie
Case Number: ABP-312479-22
Re. Blessington Greenway consisting of approximately 33 kilometres of walking and cycling paths that travel around Poulaphouca Reservoir/Blessington Lake.
Various townlands in the Counties of Wicklow and Kildare.
Submissions from An Bord Pleanála below: