Wexford County Council has received notice of the decision of An Bord Pleanala to refuse permission for the proposed pedestrian and cycling greenway between Wexford and Curracloe.
The proposed facility consists of 10.7 km of a shared cycling and walking greenway and a further 4.9 km of local looped trails and would have linked the centre of Wexford Town with the popular amenity areas at Curracloe Beach and the Raven. It is one of four high-quality greenways proposed by Wexford County Council to be constructed over the next five years as the Council seek to cater for the growing demand from locals and visitors for such amenities.
An Bord Planeala received a number of submissions on the proposal, some of which were in favour of the development and some of which objected to the development for various reasons. While discussions had been held with the National Parks & Wildlife Service during the design of the Greenway, their submission raised concerns about the impact of the proposed development on the Raven Point Nature Reserve Special Area of Conservation and Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection Area. In its refusal decision, An Bord Pleanala has cited these possible adverse effects of the proposed development, adding that the proposed Greenway “would be detrimental to the attractive and sensitive landscape and visual amenities of the area”.
In its application the Council recognised and sought to protect the sensitive nature of the landscape in which this Greenway is to take place. The Council’s comprehensive planning application was informed by advice from recognised experts in the area of wildlife conservation and protection, and specifically included a series of detailed and wide-ranging measures designed to mitigate any possible adverse effects the development might have on the surrounding areas. Therefore Wexford County Council is very disappointed with the decision to refuse this development, despite the Boards acceptance of the principle that the development of a Greenway in this location would enhance leisure and recreational facilities in the area.
The Council will examine in detail the decision of An Bord Pleanala prior to determining its next course of action in relation to the project.
Wexford County Council remains committed in its ambitious plans to develop greenways and other high quality, accessible recreational infrastructure and amenities across County Wexford to meet growing public demand for the provision of such facilities.