Newbridge Tidy Towns Association is calling on Kildare County Council to tackle the unsightly scourge of overground cables once and for all.
It said there are certain issues which the Tidy Towns adjudicators raise on a continual basis — one of which is overhead wiring and clutter in the town.
The group said the current situation is “less that aesthetically pleasing”, and reducing visual clutter on buildings and the urban streetscape, including the wirescape, needs to be higher on the council’s agenda.
“The adjudicators have stated that the Tidy Towns effort ‘should not be for the Tidy Towns Competition, the real objective should be to provide a clean, tidy, well cared for environment in which you and future generations can live’, and Newbridge Tidy Towns Association tend to agree with this sentiment,” said a spokesperson.
The association pointed out that as far back as the 1998 adjudicators report, the judges suggested that under-grounding of wires – both electrical and telecommunication — is a necessity.
“We feel that it about time that the Kildare – Newbridge Municipal Councillors took a serious look at the situation in Newbridge — the wires are not only unsightly, but are being added to on a regular basis, and the problem is getting worse as the years go on,” he added.
The association agrees with this year’s adjudicator that “an advantage of living in a town with a lot of ongoing development is that there are opportunities to duct cables that can blight the skyline.”
It believes that an automatic condition of any future planning permission should stipulate that all services and wires be undergrounded and ducted into the building.
“We believe that by investing in improving the appearance of traditional commercial areas is one of the best ways to attract new business and stimulate economic development,” said the spokesperson.
The association is looking for all wires to be undergrounded, not just the ones feeding services into the buildings on Main Street, Edward Street, Eyre Street and all streets and lanes in the commercial centre .
“We are being told that the cost of such a project is financially prohibitive, one therefore wonders what benefit there is in having objectives in a Local Area Plan one of which aspires to undergrounding of utility cables”.