Greenway opportunity for Robertstown

Key hub for Kildare canal plans

Conor McHugh

Reporter:

Conor McHugh

Email:

conor.mchugh@leinsterleader.ie

Greenway opportunity for Robertstown

File photo of planning notice

Kildare County Council has erected site notices all along the Grand Canal throughout the county outlining plans for the Greenway.

As reported previously, the project is going through the Part 8 planning process since the end of November. And in the days before Christmas Day, site notices were erected at bridges and locks throughout the county.

Part 8 is a planning process that County Councils must go through to get planning approval for their own projects.

Planning documents seen by the Leinster Leader reveal plans for a number of extra bridges to cross the canal, taking into account sections where no towpath exists, or the bank is not suitable.

In the case of Robertstown there is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the greenway enters — rather than bypasses the village.

Another bridge in Sallins will take the Greenway from the railway side of the canal to the other side, and allow for it to cross the Clane road, in order to avoid having to go through the old Odlums site.

This is particularly necessary given that no towpath exists under the bridge.

The Greenway crosses from the northern bank to the southern bank at Landenstown Bridge as there is not sufficient room between the public road and the canal bank for the Greenway to be safely accommodated.

It then follows the existing grass towpath until it is the far side of the 18th Lock where another bridge will be installed allowing the Greenway to revert back to northern bank to follow an already established grass towpath, which will be upgraded to a compacted stone and dust surface.

It will continue on that side of the canal until after Bonynge (known locally as Healy’s Bridge) at Downings.

It will then cross over to the other side, for two reasons — firstly the tow path on that side is not as good, and secondly, going to the southern side allows users of the Greenway to arrive into Robertstown village.

“It was considered vital, during the route selection process that the Greenway arrive in Roberstown on the southern bank,” the planners noted.

“This ensures that users of amenity are directed into the Village and represents a unique opportunity for Robertstown, as the village is located on the midway point of the route through Kildare.

“The opportunity for Robertstown as a community is to provide for a range of experiences that visitors expect from any high quality destination, including cafes, restaurants, pubs and a diversity of accommodation types,” said the planners.

“But perhaps more significantly is the potential to develop and provide a wide range of things to see and do in the area, which if successful will serve to retain visitors in the area for longer.”

Work on the Greenway is already well advanced in both Dublin and Offaly, and when complete is likely to bring a considerable commercial activity to the places it passes through. An archaeological assessment of the Grand Canal has been prepared. The plans are available for inspection at Kildare County Council’s Planning Department, Áras Chill Dara until this coming Thursday, January 3 .