Public input to be sought on Kilkenny's new biodiversity and recreation countryside park

Council will next week apply for funding for 'exciting and innovative' proposal for Dunmore

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

File picture: Image by Anna Powałowska from Pixabay

An ambitious new proposal to create a biodiversity and recreational countryside park at Dunmore, to the north of Kilkenny City, will go on public display in the coming weeks.

At a special meeting of the council this afternoon via Microsoft Teams, senior engineer Frank Stafford updated councillors on the proposed project, for which the council will next week apply for funding. The park is to be located on the now-closed municipal landfill site, measuring around 17 acres. It will involves trails for walking, running, orienteering and a dog-friendly enclosed area.

"Our overall ambition is to create a parkland that will create a destination for health and wellbeing, attracting fitness and outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities, nature lovers and education providers," Mr Stafford said.

The council tendered for a company to develop 'an exciting and innovative proposal', and this was won by landscape architects Mitchels and Associates - the firm currently working on the riverside garden in the Abbey Quarter. Mr Stafford said engagements had taken place with key stakeholders, including the GAA county board and Dunmore Community Committee. Both have indicated their support.

"We have just now finalised our funding application for the scheme, which will be submitted Monday under the Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure programme," he said.

Planning is currently under way through the Part 8 process, and it is hoped to go to public consultation next month.

Mr Stafford said the project would also be a delivery of one of the key actions within the climate adaptation strategy adopted last September. Mayor John Coonan said it was fantastic and innovative project, and he wholeheartedly supported it.

"It is going to change the whole landscape of that community, that parish for the better," he said.