New footbridge in Castlecomer gets the go-ahead from An Bord Pleanála

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Email:

sian.moloughney@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny

Minister Michael Ring with former Cllr Maurice Shortall, Cllr John Brennan and Minister John Paul Phelan at the bridge in Castlecomer

A new footbridge linking the town centre of Castlecomer with the Discover Park has received the go-ahead from An Bord Pleanála.

Kilkenny County Council has welcomed the decision of An Bord Pleanála  to approve planning permission for the Castlecomer Footbridge over the River Dinin.

 The need for improved pedestrian links over the River Dinin has been previously identified in the Castlecomer Local Area Plan (LAP) 2009 -2018 and more recently has been identified as a key objective in the Castlecomer Local Area Plan 2018-2024.

The new Castlecomer footbridge is proposed to be located next to the existing structure, with tie-ins beyond the eastern and western ends of the current bridge. It shall be a two-span steel box girder footbridge with a timber deck.

“This decision by An Bord Pleanála is very much welcomed by the people of Castlecomer and will be a huge addition to the area connecting the town of Castlecomer to the very popular Castlecomer Discovery Park making it safer and easier for visitors to access the much loved tourist attraction,” said Cllr. John Brennan, Chairman of the Castlecomer Municipal District.

Getting to this stage has involved a collaborative effort by Kilkenny County Council, the Bridge Management Office in Kildare County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the appointed consultants RPS Consulting. The input of Inland Fisheries Ireland, NPWS and other stakeholders to the approved bridge is also acknowledged. In addition, the progression of the scheme to this point would not have been possible without the consent of the landowners on both sides of the river and the support of the Castlecomer Discovery Park.

Following the announcement by An Bord Pleanála, Cllr. Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, commented “I congratulate all stakeholders involved in getting this project over the line. This is another example of Kilkenny County Council’s commitment to the promotion of Kilkenny as a tourist destination providing the visitor with an experience to remember.”