Kildare County Council has received a planning application from Waterways Ireland to develop the Blueway along 47kms of land in Kildare.
The application was lodged on January 27 last for the proposed development of a multi-use shared leisure route known as the Barrow Blueway.
The proposal consists of the development of a multi-use shared leisure route on the Grand Canal and River Barrow through areas such as Athy, Monasterevin and Rathangan, to develop a Barrow Blueway, a 112km long shared-use trail for local people and visitors to enjoy along the route of the Barrow Way-Marked Way. The Barrow River and Barrow Line of the Grand Canal are described as waterway corridors of national and international importance and spectacular recreation and leisure amenities. Both the river and canal support a myriad of sustainable activities and sustain a rich and diverse built and natural heritage. It is the intention of Waterways Ireland to develop the existing track way along the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal and Barrow River as a 112km Blueway. The route commences in Lowtown, County Kildare, passes through County Laois and finishes in St. Mullins, County Carlow. Approximately 47km of the route is in County Kildare, 16km in County Laois and 52km in County Carlow.
The planning application is currently under assessment by the Council. Submissions are due by March 2 next.
There has been some high profile opposition to the development in Carlow with campaigners including Gabriel Byrne and Olivia O'Leary worried that any development will impact local wildlife.