Lowtown, near Robertstown, where the Blueway is expected to start.
Kildare County Council has granted planning permission for a Blueway along 47kms of the Grand Canal.
The proposal was part of a planned 115km Blueway that was expected to go from Lowtown, Robertstown, to St Mullins near New Ross. However following objections to the plan further south, Carlow County Council refused planning permission for that section. A further section, from Athy to Jerusalem, Co. Kildare was not granted planning permission because it was proposed to go along a part of the Barrow river that is subject to flooding.
Notwithstanding the Carlow decision the Blueway in Kildare is expected to bring increased economic activity prosperity to the towns and villages it passes through, or near, including Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevin and Athy. Facilities such as this in other parts of the country, most particularly in Mayo and Waterford have had a reviving affect on local communities.
Laois County Council has approved its section of the route, going from Killneard to Vicarstown and back in towards Kilberry and Athy. The foresight to have it,
Commenting on the news, Cllr Martin Miley contrasted the decision of Carlow County with Kildare, saying that "thankfully Kildare County Council has seen the benefit from an economic point of view to grant this project from Athy to Robertstown". He also complimented the Council's foresight in seeing the benefits to the county.
Meanwhile Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has learned that funding will be made available this year to develop designs for the Grand Canal Greenway between Sallins and Naas - and that construction of the proposed Royal Canal Greenway between Maynooth and Dublin will commence later this year.
Work has already started on other parts of this Greenway, notably from Maynooth to Kilcock, and it is expected to form part of a full length route from Dublin to Galway.
“Such amenities are a huge resource to the local area and are also important for local businesses as they attract visitors to the county,” Deputy Murphy commented, and she hopes that “Kildare County Council and South Dublin County Council can work together speedily to progress the Hazelhatch to Grange Castle project underway as it would be a fantastic resource”.
Read more: Planning lodged with KCC for Blueway