1.1 LOCAL AREA PLAN STATUS AND PROCESS
The Draft Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Local Area Plan 2020-2026 (LAP) has been jointly prepared by Kilkenny County Council and Carlow County Council in accordance with the requirements and provisions of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended). It sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch in the context of the Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014-2020, the Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021 and the Regional Spatial Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region. It is informed by Ministerial Guidelines issued pursuant to Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, (as amended) together with EU requirements regarding Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA). The Draft Joint LAP, once adopted will replace the Graiguenamanagh Local Area Plan 2009 (as extended) and Tinnahinch Local Area Plan 2010.
1.2 REQUIREMENT TO PREPARE LOCAL AREA PLAN
Sections 18-20 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), provide that a local area plan shall be made in respect of an area where the population is in excess of 5,000 people. For settlements between 1,500 and 5,000 people the planning authority may indicate zoning objectives by either preparing a local area plan or alternatively, indicating such objectives in the relevant development plan(s). The settlement of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch is located within the functional areas of Kilkenny and Carlow County Council. Pursuant to Section 18(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils are jointly preparing this local area plan in respect of the combined functional areas of both authorities. Graiguenamanagh is classified as a District Town within the Kilkenny County Settlement Hierarchy, while Tinnahinch is designated as a Village within the Carlow County Settlement Hierarchy. While combined the population in 2016 did not exceed the 1,500-population threshold, the planning authorities recognise the need to provide a co-ordinated approach to the future development of the town, recognising the unique characteristic of the settlement including its natural and built heritage, the need to support and foster economic development, the provision of community services, the promotion of tourism and infrastructure provision.
1.3 FORM AND CONTENT OF THE LOCAL AREA PLAN
The Plan consists of a written statement with accompanying maps and associated environmental reports. The written statement shall take precedence over the maps should any discrepancy arise between them. In the full interpretation of all objectives for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, it is essential that each County Development Plan (CDP) and the Draft Joint Local Area Plan (LAP) are read in tandem. Where conflicting objectives arise between the CDP’s and the Draft Joint LAP, the objectives of the CDP shall take precedence. General development management standards are contained in the CDP, while policies and objectives that are specific to Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch are included in the Draft Joint LAP.
1.4 PUBLIC CONSULTATION
The preparation of a joint Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Local Area Plan commenced in October 2019 with a Pre-Draft public consultation. Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils published a background Issues Paper and invited submissions and observations from interested parties between 16th October and 22nd November 2019. As part of the consultation process, a public participation meeting was held on the 7th of November 2019 in ‘The Hub’ Graiguenamanagh, where approximately 38 members of the community attended to discuss the current issues and future needs of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. Submissions were received from residents, service providers, local community/recreation groups and landowners. A total of 9 submissions were received and the issues raised are summarised in the Report on Pre-Draft Consultation dated December 2019. Both stages of consultation have informed the plan making process.
In the past the settlement of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch has experienced a number of flood events. The flood risk associated with the settlement has prohibited development within the settlement. In conjunction with the OPW both Kilkenny and Carlow County Council have agreed to develop a flood relief scheme for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch to protect existing buildings within the floodzone. It is intended the flood relief scheme will enable the regeneration of existing vacant and derelict buildings in the town centre.
1.5 ENVIRONMENTAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENTS
The preparation of this Local Area Plan has been informed by the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in accordance with the Planning and Development (Strategic Environmental Assessment) Regulations 2004, and a Stage Two Appropriate Assessment Screening
Report, pursuant to Article 6 of the Habitats Directive 94/42/EEC. A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and Infrastructural Assessment have also informed the plan.
1.5.1 Appropriate Assessment
Articles 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive and Section 177 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), require that any plan or project with the potential to impact on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site must first be screened to determine if appropriate assessment of the plan or project is required. In the event that the screening indicates that potential significant impacts cannot be ruled out then the plan or project will require an appropriate assessment. Appropriate Assessment means an assessment, based on the best scientific knowledge available, of the potential impacts of a plan or project, wherever located, on the conservation objectives of any Natura 2000 site and the inclusion, where necessary, of mitigation or avoidance measures to preclude negative effects. The impacts assessed must include the indirect and cumulative impacts of the plan or project. Therefore, whether a plan or project is located within, or is at a geographically remote area from a Natura 2000 site, if significant impacts cannot be ruled out then the plan or project must be subject to an appropriate assessment.
The following objective will apply to all plans and projects whether public or private and across all sectors of development.
AAO1.1: To ensure that any plan or project within the functional area of the Planning Authority is subject to an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with legislative requirements, the Guidance Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland – Guidance for Planning Authorities, 2009 and is assessed in accordance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive in order to avoid adverse impacts on the integrity and conservation objectives of the site.
1.5.2 Strategic Environmental Assessment
Local Area Plans are also required to comply with the provisions of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive (2001/42/EC) as transposed into the Planning and Development Act, the objective of which is to provide for a high level of environmental protection and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the formal, systematic evaluation of the likely significant environmental effects of implementing a plan or programme before the decision is made to adopt the plan or programme. The purpose is to “provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development”. A Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening report was carried out for this Draft Joint LAP and it was considered that a full Strategic Environmental Assessment was required.
1.5.3 Infrastructural Assessment
Appendix 3 of the National Planning Framework (NPF) [Project Ireland 2040] sets out a methodology for a two-tier approach for zoning of land which must be informed by an Infrastructural Assessment (IA). The NPF states that this IA must identify “the potential for delivery of the required services and/or capacity to support new development must be identified and specific details provided by the Planning Authority at the time of publication of both the draft and final development or local area plan”. See also Section 4.3.6.
1.6 PLANNING POLICY
This Draft Joint LAP has been prepared having regard to National, Regional and Local policy documents, including but not restricted to the following:
- National Planning Framework
- Implementation Roadmap for the National Planning Framework (2018)
- National Development Plan 2018-2027
- National Climate Change Adaptation Framework: Building Resilience to Climate Change (2012)
- National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2009-2020 (2009)
- National Renewable Energy Action Plan (2010)
- Actions for Biodiversity – Irelands National Biodiversity Plan 2011-2016 (2011)
- National Broadband Plan 2012
- Water Service Strategic Plan: A Plan for the Future of Water Services
- Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region 2020-2026
- Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014-2020
- Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021
- Kilkenny Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP) 2016-2021
- Carlow Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP) 2016-2021
- Local Area Plans; Guidelines for Planning Authorities DECLG/DoAHG (2013)
- Manual for Local Area Plans DECLG/DoAHG (2013)
- Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities
1.6.1 Project Ireland 2040 – The National Planning Framework (2018)
The National Planning Framework (NPF) sets the overarching context for planning policy in Ireland and has identified the requirement for growth of approximately one million additional people in Ireland by 2040. This means planning for a substantial increase in the number of people and jobs on the island of Ireland.
For the Southern Regional Assembly area which includes Counties Kilkenny and Carlow, this means:
- 340,000 – 380,000 additional people i.e. a population of almost 2 million.
- Around 225,000 additional people in employment i.e. 880,000 (0.875m) in total.
Under the objective of ‘Securing Compact and Sustainable Growth’, the NPF states that the physical form of urban development in Ireland is one of the greatest national development challenges. It states that more than anything else, getting the physical form and location of future development right offers the best prospects for unlocking regional potential.
One of the Strategic Outcomes of the NPF is ‘Compact Growth’. Compact growth as an approach to facilitating development focuses primarily on reusing previously developed land. This requires focus on four key areas:
- The ‘liveability’ or quality of life of urban places;
- Making the continuous regeneration and development of existing built up areas as attractive and as visible as greenfield development;
- Tackling legacies such as concentrations of disadvantage in central urban areas;
- Linking regeneration and redevelopment initiatives to climate action.
The NPF includes the following national policy objectives which are relevant to the review of the Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch LAPs to form a Draft Joint LAP.
National Policy Objectives
National Policy Objective 3c: Deliver at least 30% of all new homes that are targeted in settlements other than the five Cities and their suburbs, within their existing CSO Footprint
Housing target will be delivered within the existing built-up footprint
National Policy Objective 4: Ensure the creation of attractive, liveable, well designed, high quality urban places that are home to diverse and integrated communities that enjoy a high quality of life and well-being.
Mixed, connected and integrated communities.
National Policy Objective 6: Regenerate and rejuvenate cities, towns and villages of all types and scale as environmental assets, that can accommodate changing roles and functions, increased residential population and employment activity and enhanced levels of amenity and design quality, in order to sustainably influence and support their surrounding area.
Improve resilience and design to accommodate change
National Policy Objective 7: Apply a tailored approach to urban development that will be linked to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Focus on opportunities to reversing the stagnation or decline of many smaller urban centres, by identifying strategic enabling projects that can be funded through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
National Policy Objective 17: Enhance, integrate and protect the special physical, social, economic and cultural value of built heritage assets through appropriate and sensitive use now and for future generations
Appropriate conservation policies included in the Draft Joint LAP for heritage assets
National Policy Objective 18(b): Develop a programme for ‘new homes in small towns and villages’ with local authorities, public infrastructure agencies such as Irish Water and local communities to provide serviced sites with appropriate infrastructure to attract people to build their own homes and live in small towns and villages.
Identification of lands zoned for low density to provide for serviced sites.
National Policy Objective 54: Reduce our carbon footprint by integrating climate action into the planning system in support of national targets for climate policy mitigation and adaptation objectives, as well as targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Focus on opportunities to reduce the demand for energy and use a better mix of low carbon energy sources. Measures to enhance sustainable travel will also reduce the need for travel by car.
The NPF with the National Development Plan will also set the context for each of Ireland’s three Regional Assemblies to develop their Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies taking account of and co-ordinating Local Authority County and City Development Plans in a manner that will ensure national, regional and local plans align.
1.6.2 National Policy Requirements
In addition to the introduction of the National Planning Framework and RSES, a number of new national policy requirements and legislative changes have been introduced since the preparation of the previous Graiguenamangh Local Area Plan in 2009 and Tinnahinch Local Area Plan in 2010.
Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Future, 2009-2020
Smarter Travel, A Sustainable Transport Future, is the transport policy for Ireland for the period 2009-2020. This document sets out the transport policy for Ireland which, in addition to prudent investment in new infrastructure, sets out necessary steps to ensure that people choose more sustainable transport modes such as walking, cycling and public transport. This key national policy has sustainability at its core and clearly indicates that future population and economic growth will have to take place predominantly in sustainable, compact urban and rural areas which discourage dispersed development and long commuting.
Interim Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Statutory Plans, Renewable Energy and Climate Change – July 2017
These interim guidelines state that local authority development plans are a critical part of translating overall national policy on energy, renewable energy and wind energy in a manner that supports the achievement of Ireland’s international obligations relating to climate change and renewable energy, and taking account of local circumstances. As provided for in Section 10(2)(n) of the Planning and Development Act (2000), as amended, (the Act), development plans are required to include objectives to mitigate against climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
National Climate Change Policy, 2013
The extent of the challenge to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in line with our International and EU obligations is reflected in the National Policy Position on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (2014) and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. The National Policy Position establishes the fundamental national objective of achieving transition to a competitive, low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050.
It clarifies the level of GHG mitigation ambition envisaged; and establishes the process to pursue and achieve the overall objective. Specifically, the National Policy Position envisages that policy development will be guided by a long-term vision based on:
- An aggregate reduction in carbon dioxide (C02) emissions of at least 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050 across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors
- In parallel, an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, including forestry, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production.
The National Mitigation Plan, 2017
The measures proposed by the National Mitigation Plan lay the foundations for transitioning Ireland to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050. The Plan includes over 100 individual actions for various Ministers and public bodies to take forward as we move towards implementation. Chapter 4 outlines proposals to ‘Decarbonise the Built Environment’, with the overall objective of use less energy to come from low or zero-carbon fuels. This can be achieved by ensuring that new buildings are low or “nearly zero emission” standard and energy efficiency upgrades, known as retrofits, are carried out with respect to the existing building stock. The mitigation plan states that ‘as well as expecting buildings to consume much less energy, the mix of fuels providing that energy should be transitioning to a much lower carbon content.’
National Adaptation Framework, Planning for Climate Resilient Ireland, 2018
Ireland’s first statutory National Adaptation Framework (NAF) was published in January 2018. The NAF sets out the national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change. The NAF was developed under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. In relation to the ‘Built Environment and Spatial Planning’ it states that:
‘It is clear that climate change considerations need to be taken into account as a matter of course in planning-related decision-making processes and that the deepening of adaptation considerations in the planning and building standards processes is considered the most appropriate way of increasing the resilience of the built environment.’
Integrating climate considerations into decision making should ensure that inappropriate forms of development in vulnerable areas are avoided and compact development in less vulnerable areas is promoted.
Other considerations include the spatial implications of water stress. Land use policies may also facilitate the conversion or maintenance of land at risk of flooding to less vulnerable uses (e.g. parks, gardens and open spaces for natural habitats, etc.).
Local Authorities are required to prepare Adaptation Strategies and the Guidelines for their preparation recommend that, once approved, strategies should be used to assess the adaptation fitness of spatial plans and ensure that climate change adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into the process.
Kilkenny County Council adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in September 2019. The core objectives of this strategy are:
- Ensure that climate adaptation considerations are mainstreamed into all plans and policies and integrated into all operations and functions of Kilkenny County Council
- Ensure consideration and understanding of the key risks and vulnerabilities of climate change in the County
- Implementation of climate resilient actions in a planned and proactive manner
Carlow County Council also adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in September 2019. The strategy provides a blueprint on the necessary adaptations, goals, objectives and actions to ensure Carlow County Council plays its part in protecting our planet from the effects of Climate Change. The four principle aims (guiding principles) of this strategy are:
- Mainstream Adaptation: That climate change adaptation is a core consideration and is mainstreamed in all functions and activities across the local authority. In addition, ensure that local authority is well placed to benefit from economic development opportunities that may emerge due to a commitment to proactive climate change adaptation and community resilience.
- Informed decision making: That effective and informed decision making is based on reliable and robust evidence base of the key impacts, risks and vulnerabilities of the area. This will support long term financial planning, effective management of risks and help to prioritise actions.
- Building Resilience: That the needs of vulnerable communities are prioritised and addressed, encourage awareness to reduce and adapt to anticipated impacts of climate change and promote a sustainable and robust action response.
- Capitalising on Opportunities: Projected changes in climate may result in additional benefits and opportunities for the local area and these should be explored and capitalised upon to maximise the use of resources and influence positive behavioural changes.
1.6.3 Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region
The adopted Regional Spatial Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region came into force on the 31st of January 2020 and has replaced the South East Regional Planning Guidelines 2010-2022. The principal purpose of the RSES is to support the implementation of the NPF and economic policies and objectives of the Government by providing long-term strategic planning and economic framework for the development of Ireland’s regions.
The Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region promotes the Region’s international reputation as a sustainable, innovative, healthy and green region and ultimately help us to realise our ambition to be the world’s most liveable region.
Key principles in developing the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region are:
- No place or community is left behind by the RSES. A dual-track strategy that develops the cities and other metropolitan areas as engines of sustainable growth, and repositions the Region’s strong network of towns, villages and rural areas in an imaginative, sustainable and smart manner;
- The need to provide an adequate supply of quality housing to meet existing and future demand, including addressing the current housing crisis and homelessness;
- Invest in and deliver infrastructure to improve the liveability and quality of life of urban and rural areas;
- Regenerate and develop existing built-up areas as attractive and viable alternatives to greenfield development;
- Use quality urban design to enhance the character of a place and to ensure development is respectful of the existing physical, social, environmental and cultural context;
- Tackle legacy issues, such as concentrated disadvantage in central urban areas through social, economic, recreational, cultural, environmental and physical infrastructural regeneration;
- Link regeneration and development initiatives to environmental protection and climate action measures;
- Provide strong regional policy support to achieve national policy targets for renewal and compact growth; and
- Provide strong regional support for policy and initiatives at the local level which restrict urban generated sprawl, and protect the environment and resources of rural areas from haphazard, urban-generated housing patterns
1.6.4 Kilkenny County Development Plan 2014 – 2020
The adopted development plan for County Kilkenny is the Kilkenny County Development Plan (CDP) 2014-2020. The review of Kilkenny CDP commenced in April 2018. The following six key issues to be addressed by the CDP are:
- Economic recovery; positioning of the county to avail of any economic upturn
- Underpinning the settlement hierarchy within the county and compliance with the requirements of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy through the core strategy
- Renewable energy strategy including wind energy policy
- Continued protection of the natural and built heritage
- Planning frameworks for smaller towns and villages
- Identification of key infrastructure for the County to bolster its development
Kilkenny’s District Towns of Thomastown, Castlecomer, Graiguenamanagh and Callan, along with the smaller towns and villages, have growth potential in areas such as agriculture, food, energy and tourism. These towns have the capacity for proportionate population growth utilising planned land use and place-making principles whilst also been linked to employment.
It is an objective of the Core Strategy of the Kilkenny County Development Plan that District Towns “… will in so far as practical be self‐sufficient incorporating employment activities, sufficient retail services and social and community facilities”.
In terms of economic development, the Kilkenny CDP has its objectives for District towns:
- “To ensure the sustainable development of the District towns in the County to achieve their target populations and enhance their capacity to attract new investment in employment, services and public transport for the benefit of their own populations and that of their rural hinterlands.”
- “To promote a diverse and sustainable local economy through the designation of sufficient lands for employment related uses, including facilities, to promote SME growth through the local area plans for the District towns.”
1.6.5 Carlow County Development Plan 2015-2021
The adopted development plan for County Carlow is the Carlow County Development Plan (CDP) 2015-2021 which will aim to provide:
- A sustainable spatial development strategy to guide the location of development
- Clear guidance on the future use of land and the pattern of development over the plan period
- A framework for the future investment in physical and social infrastructure
- A framework for developing the county’s economy
- Management and control by indicating standards to be achieved in new developments
- Ways to conserve and enhance the urban and rural environment and to protect the diversity of the natural and cultural landscape
- Guidance for public and private investors in relation to land use and development
- A framework for developing tourism in the County Carlow
Development will be facilitated in the smaller towns and villages of County Carlow at a scale and character which is appropriate in order to sustain and renew populations and services in these areas.
Tinnahinch is classified as a Smaller Town and Village in the County’s settlement hierarchy. It is the intention of the Carlow County Development Plan that smaller towns and villages “be developed in a way that strengthens their role as local service centres whilst respecting their existing character. It is important to ensure that new residential development in smaller towns and villages is of a design, layout, character and scale which fits well with the town or village involved and presents a high-quality living environment.”
The objective for smaller towns and villages in the Carlow County Development Plan is “To facilitate development of housing, economic development, services and infrastructure in the smaller towns and villages of the county at a scale and character which is appropriate in order to sustain and renew populations and services in these areas, subject to Appropriate Assessment in accordance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive.”
1.6.6 Vacant Site Levy
The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 introduced the Vacant Site Levy (‘Levy’) as a tool that can be used by local authorities, in combination with other incentives, to achieve rejuvenation priorities of the Region as set out in the NPF. The Act enables local authorities to provide, as a specific objective in County Development Plans and Local Area Plans, for the development, redevelopment and reuse of vacant sites in specific locations within urban areas where they consider it to be beneficial towards securing the objectives of the relevant core strategy, housing strategy and retail strategy of development plans.
The ‘Levy’ is an integral part of the development planning process to incentivise the development of vacant or idle sites identified by planning authorities as “regeneration land” or “residential land”, with a view to bringing such sites into beneficial use. It can be imposed by planning authorities under certain conditions in designated areas where sites remain vacant and site owners/developers fail to bring forward reasonable proposals, without good reason, for the development/reuse of such property in line with the provisions of the relevant local area or development plan. The Levy is applied annually at a rate of 3% for 2018 and 7% thereafter, of the market value of the property. Local planning authorities may supplement the Vacant Sites Levy with reduced development contributions where the supporting enabling infrastructure is already in place.
The Draft Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Joint LAP promotes, encourages and facilitates the appropriate development of sites identified as “mixed use” and “residential land” in order to prevent adverse effects on existing amenities in such areas, in particular as a result of
- The ruinous or neglected condition of any land
- Urban blight or decay
- Anti‐social behaviour, or a shortage of habitable houses or of land suitable for residential use or a mixture of residential and other uses
1.6.7 Other Plans and Policies
Kilkenny Local Economic Community Plan (LECP) 2016-2021 and Carlow Local Economic Community Plan (LECP) 2016-2021
The Kilkenny LECP 2016-2021 and Carlow LECP 2016-2021 are both scheduled for review in 2020. These plans identify the specific actions required to deliver on the high-level goals and objectives of the community plan. The actions promote and support the economic development and the local and community development of County Kilkenny and County Carlow.
The established themes and goals of the Kilkenny and Carlow LECP process align with national and European objectives and themes. The following 13 high-level goals have been identified for County Kilkenny
- Support the Enterprise Economy
- Facilitate Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Enhance Visitor Experiences
- Provide for enhanced levels of Educational Attainment and Skills Development
- Develop the Rural Economy
- Improve Access and Communications Infrastructures
- Foster Leadership and Increase Local Capacity
- Protect and Utilise the Natural, Cultural and Built Environment
- Contribute to Regional Growth and International Potential
- Address Area-based Poverty & Disadvantage:
- Address Poverty and Social Exclusion (targeted approaches)
- Enhance Community Facilities and Participation
- Improve Health and Well-Being
The following 6 high-level goals have been identified for County Carlow, each with specific sustainable objectives and a range of related actions.
- Build thriving, resilient, sustainable and inclusive communities
- Strengthen and promote a thriving and sustainable enterprise culture in County Carlow
- Ensure access to education and skills for all members of communities
- Optimise the tourism product and message
- To provide the required infrastructure for the county
- Maximise external investment into Carlow
This Draft Joint LAP will support, where appropriate, these actions, as they relate to Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch and its hinterland.
1.6.8 Graiguenamanagh/Tinnahinch Tourism and Recreational Project Concept Study
Graiguenamangh/Tinnahinch Tourism and Recreational Project Concept Study was initiated by Kilkenny Leader Partnership whom commissioned SLR to assess the existing and potential economic and cultural tourism offering in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. This study provides a blueprint for local and community development funding. This includes programmes such as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme and the LEADER rural development programme.
The Graiguenamanagh/Tinnahinch Tourism and Recreational Project Concept Study identifies the potential linkages between the various tourism and recreational assets and amenities in the area, setting out a number of concepts to stimulate sustainable economic development and attract inward public and private investment.
In an attempt to curtail the spread of Covid-19 the Irish Government introduced restrictions on public gatherings in March 2020. Public meetings are a statutory component of the plan making process. A pre-draft public meeting was held in November 2019, prior to Covid-19 restrictions. The plan making process of this plan does not require any additional public meetings. However, the display of the draft plan and any necessary information sessions will be in accordance with guidance provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
 The Local Authority Adaptation Strategy Development Guidelines (2016)
Graiguenamanagh/Tinnahinch Tourism and Recreational Project Concept Study, November 2019