A major study of the impact on proposed upgrading work along the Sallins Road has been ordered. The development, though not unexpected, will add to the cost of the project and could cause a delay.
Kildare County Council project is to upgrade existing pedestrian, cycle and vulnerable road user facilities along a 3.5km stretch for the road from Poplar Square to Sallins village. Now An Bord Pleanala has directed KCC to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS).
The statement will specifically focus on Oldtown Demesne, described as “a protected structure with natural heritage value”. Oldtown Demesne is also described as having amenity and landscape value in the Naas Town Development Plan. The upgrading of the route will provide a cycle lane along the road for 3.5 kms in various forms - shared carriageway, on road cycle track, off road cycle track and shared pedestrian and cycle surface - along different sections of the road. Pedestrian crossings are also planned as well as upgrading existing junctions with signal control.
A small amount land will have to be acquired for the project for 630 metres between Mill Lane to the entrance to Naas GAA club. Land will also be needed between Maple Park and Millennium Park for a 220 metres stretch. There will be better access to junctions as well as the schools along the route. Some car park spaces will be moved and others will be taken away and the overall emphasis of the project will be to better facilitate pedestrians and cyclists using the road. It will also be necessary to remove mature trees and vegetation at the boundary of Oldtown Demesne.
There are a number of important ecological sites within 15kms of the area but these will be unaffected by the work