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Blessington to become a major walking and cycling destination as greenway plans are submitted

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John Horan, Chair of the Blessington Town Team.

John Horan, Chair of the Blessington Town Team.

John Horan, Chair of the Blessington Town Team.

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WICKLOW County Council has submitted plans to An Bord Pleanála seeking approval to complete the Blessington Greenway, covering 33 km and also involving an upgrade of the route already in place.

The greenway surface construction is proposed to consist of machine laid, bound pavement.

The proposed construction works will involve shallow excavation, tree removal and replacement, single-span bridges over larger streams, fencing and minor landscaping.

Government funding of €15 million has been provided for the development under the National Greenway Strategy.

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John Horan, Chair of the Blessington Town Team, said: “We are delighted the planning application has been submitted and it’s great to see all the extensive work which has gone into the greenway now coming to fruition.

“Ecological, cultural and heritage impact studies were carried out by consultants Acon on behalf of Wicklow County Council.

“With the appropriate mitigating factors, the greenway will have minimal impact on the Special Protection Area at Poulaphouca Reservoir, known locally as Blessington Lakes.

"It will be a 33km loop surrounding the lakes and taking in the villages of Lacken, Valleymount and Ballyknockan.

"It will be starting at the Avon and returns to Blessington at Knockieran Bridge.

“There will also be spurs off the loop to major attractions like Russborough House and Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Course.

"It’s important to note that this is part of a much broader scale of walking and cycling routes in County Wicklow.

"The Blessington Greenway will link directly to St Kevin’s Way at Valleymount, bringing walkers and cyclists to Glendalough, which in turn will link with the Wicklow Way, which runs through the spine of the Wicklow Mountains.”

Mr Gorman feels the completed greenway will prove not only beneficial to Blessington and surrounding area, but also to the whole county.

He said: “It will help make Blessington and Wicklow a major outdoor walking and cycling destination. We also see it as being a major part of Ireland’s Ancient East offerings.

"It will bring significant economic benefits to the town of Blessington and surrounding areas and villages. It will also provide valuable and sustainable employment which will grow in the future. It’s the culmination of a lot of work and the local community deserve great credit for their foresight in identifying the potential of a greenway for Blessington.”

Copies of the plans and particulars of the proposed development will be available for viewing from Thursday at Wicklow County Council, County Buildings in Wicklow town, Baltinglass Municipal District offices, Blessington Library and the offices of An Bord Pleanála located on Marlborough Street in Dublin.


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