10. Infrastructure & Environment
10.0 Infrastructure & Environment
SO7: To phase future growth in line with the capacity of supporting physical infrastructure and to ensure that it occurs in accordance with proper planning and sustainable development.
The availability of high-quality infrastructure networks and environmental services is critical to creating sustainable and attractive places, securing investment, ensuring health and wellbeing and safeguarding the environment.
It is an objective of Irish Water to provide both drinking water and wastewater capacity to facilitate settlement / core strategies at county level, in line with national and regional planning policies and objectives, subject to the availability of funding and environmental and financial sustainability criteria. Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils retains their role in facilitating the provision of adequate water services, in conjunction with Irish Water, at a local level, through Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
In 2015 Irish Water published its Water Services Strategic Plan (WSSP), which sets out strategic objectives for the delivery of water services over a 25-year period and sets a context for investment and implementation plans. Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils will continue to support Irish Water in identifying water services that are required to support planned development in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch in line with national and regional planning policies for inclusion in the Irish Water Capital Investment Plans.
10.1.1 Water Supply
Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch is connected to the Graiguenamanagh water supply scheme. In 2018 Irish Water estimated that there is currently capacity for a maximum of 200 housing units. Irish Water also confirmed that the Graiguenamanagh Water Supply Scheme is not included for upgrading in the Irish Water 2020 to 2024 Investment Plan.
The water supply capacity in Graiguenamanagh is reduced significantly during periods of dry weather and in Summer months (April-October) therefore no new connections can be made. The only option at present is to provide a private water supply on site that can be connected to the public supply at a future date. In an attempt to resolve this issue a new well was drilled but water quality was an issue and could not be brought into production. A mains replacement program was also undertaken in 2018 to reduce leaks and improve capacity but again did not yield enough savings.
Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch are both connected to the Graiguenamanagh waste water supply scheme. The current loading of the Graiguenamanagh WWTP is ca. 3,000 p/e which indicates adequate capacity for the projected growth over the plan period. Consultation with Irish Water regarding the capacity and operation of the WWTP in Graiguenamanagh has taken place throughout the drafting process of the Joint LAP.
INF1 Water Supply & Wastewater
It is the policy of both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to work with Irish Water to protect and maintain existing water and wastewater infrastructure in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, to maximise the potential of the existing network and to ensure that new or upgraded infrastructure is provided, to facilitate future growth.
It is an objective of the Plan:
INFO1.1: To work with Irish Water to protect, manage and optimise water services infrastructure in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch.
INFO1.2: To have regard to the suite of development objectives from Irish Water set out in Appendix D of this Draft Joint LAP in assessing applications for new development
10.3 SURFACE WATER & GROUND WATER
The management of surface water and protection of groundwater is part of Kilkenny and Carlow County Council’s sustainable water services policy. Adequate storm water drainage and retention facilities are necessary to accommodate surface water run-off resulting from current and future developments in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. The use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) as required under the development management standards of Kilkenny and Carlow CDPs and Green Infrastructure in new developments will contribute to surface water retention and help to reduce and prevent flooding, by mimicking the natural drainage of a site. The objective of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is to protect and restore water quality, which is done through the implementation of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) and to protect these resources from status deterioration. Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch is located within the South Eastern River Basin District. This Water Management Unit contains the River Nore, Barrow and Suir amongst other water bodies. The status of the River Barrow in Graiguenamanagh is “good”. Kilkenny County Council, Carlow County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency carry out water quality monitoring in these waterbodies for the purpose of the Water Framework Directive. The WFD includes a requirement to contribute to mitigating the effects of floods and as such water quality and flood risk management are closely related.
INF2 – Surface Water
It is the policy of both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to maintain and enhance the existing surface water drainage systems in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch and to protect surface and ground water quality in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.
It is an objective of the Plan:
INFO2.1: To carry out surface water infrastructure improvement works as required, subject to relevant environmental assessments.
INFO2.2: To maintain, improve and enhance, where possible, the environmental and ecological quality of surface waters and groundwater in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch in accordance with the South Eastern River Basin District River Basin Management Plan and in conjunction with the EPA.
10.4 FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT
The OPW is the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland. The coordination of Government Policy in terms of flood risk identification, assessment and management is the responsibility of the OPW and as such it is primarily charged with ensuring Ireland’s compliance with its obligations under the EU Floods Directive. In consideration of recurrent flooding of the River Barrow and Duiske River, Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils recognise the need for a precautionary approach to development in flood risk areas in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and the likely impacts of climate change. The Council will strive to minimise flood risk by aiming to ensure that no new developments are susceptible to, or cause or exacerbate flooding. The OPW will be consulted on any development proposal which affects the floodplain or could exacerbate flooding in any way.
A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment was carried out as part of this Draft Joint LAP and is attached as Appendix 1 to the Strategic Environmental Assessment. This Draft SFRA was an iterative process, and informed the making of the Plan. There is a recognised history of flooding in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch with recent events causing damage to properties in the settlement. Areas that have been identified as at risk of flooding are identified on the Flood Risk Map contained in the Draft SFRA.
In addition to the proposed flood relief scheme for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, a Pilot ‘Individual Property Protection’ (IPP) Scheme is underway which may assist in reducing the flood risk to a number of properties in the settlement. IPP represents a new approach to managing flood risk in Ireland. Traditionally, flood relief schemes are concerned with keeping flood waters away from properties and areas at risk however, under this pilot scheme the property owners themselves will be the primary operators of the system, as they will be deploying their own IPP measures.
Drainage Impact Assessments are required for all development proposals, regardless of the Flood Zone the site is located within. Where flood risk may be an issue, development proposals shall be the subject of a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment, appropriate to the type and scale of the development being proposed and shall be carried out in line with the Guidelines. For sites within Flood Zone A or B, a site specific “Stage 2 – Initial FRA” will be required, and may need to be developed into a “Stage 3 – Detailed FRA”. The extents of Flood Zone A and B are delineated through this Draft SFRA. However, future studies may refine the extents (either to reduce or enlarge them), so a comprehensive review of available data should be undertaken once an FRA has been triggered at project stage.
Where a site is within Flood Zone C, but adjoining or in close proximity to Flood Zone A or B there could be a risk of flooding associated with factors such as future scenarios (climate change) or in the event of failure of a defence, blocking of a bridge or culvert. Risk from sources other than fluvial must also be addressed for all development in Flood Zone C. The Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme was the largest ever flood risk study carried out in the State and covered 300 areas believed to be at significant flood risk. The CFRAM programme culminated with the launch on 3rd May 2018 of 29 flood risk management plans, which proposed 118 new outline flood relief projects on top of the 42 major projects already completed and the 33 major schemes within the existing capital works programme of the Office of Public Works (OPW). The Flood Alleviation Works for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch has been identified by the CFRAM programme to be progressed. The project, when completed, will protect properties with embankments and walls, set back where possible from the river channel.
Notwithstanding the proposed Flood Alleviation works, the Draft Joint LAP avoids development in areas at risk of flooding and has substituted vulnerable land uses with less vulnerable uses where this is not possible in zoning lands in this Plan. Where neither is possible, mitigation and management of risks must be proposed.
The Draft SFRA has recommended that development proposals for a number of areas within the plan boundary should be the subject of site-specific flood risk assessment appropriate to the nature and scale of the development being proposed.
10.4.1 Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Flood Relief Scheme
Kilkenny County Council in partnership with Carlow County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) are advancing with Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Flood Relief Scheme. The OPW recommended the development of a flood relief scheme for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch as a result of the work completed in the South Eastern Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study.
This Flood Relief Scheme is part of the €1bn National Fund announced by the Government for Flood Relief Schemes throughout the Country in May 2018.
In February 2020 Kilkenny County Council appointed ByrneLooby to develop a flood relief scheme for Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch. The first public consultation period for this scheme commenced on June 18th 2020 and will close on July 9th 2020. All comments received during this period will be considered in the preparation of Stage 1 of the Flood Relief Scheme.
INF3 Flood Risk Management
It is the policy of both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to manage flood risk in Graiguenamamagh-Tinnahinch in conjunction with the OPW and in accordance with the requirements of the Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2009) and Circular PL02/2014 (August 2014).
It is an objective of the Plan:
INFO3.1: To support and co-operate with the OPW and other stakeholders in delivering Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch Flood Relief Scheme under the South Eastern CFRAM Programme, whilst ensuring heritage considerations inform the design of proposed works and to ensure development maximises the protection of the integrity of the historical settlement.
INFO3.2: To manage flood risk in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch in accordance with the requirements of the Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities, DECLG and OPW (2009) and Circular PL02/2014 (August 2014).
INFO3.3: To ensure development proposals within the areas outlined on the Flood Risk Map are the subject of Site-Specific Flood Risk Assessment, appropriate to the nature and scale of the development being proposed.
INFO3.4: To require the preparation of Drainage Impact Assessments, in line with the SFRA for this Draft Joint LAP, for all development proposals within the plan area.
10.5 ENERGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
The National Planning Framework (National Policy Objective 54) require that we 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. This Draft Joint LAP will support and encourage opportunities to reduce the demand for energy and use a better mix of low carbon energy sources and through the installation and retrofit, where appropriate, of renewable energy technologies. Kilkenny and Carlow County Council also recognises the need for the provision of high-speed fibre broadband in the Plan area to support existing business and attract new business. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment identify that the settlement of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch is mostly supplied by commercial operators, with a small area designated as a National Broadband Plan intervention area. Commercial operators are continuing to enhance their services in these areas to improve access to high speed broadband and this will benefit the local economy and attractiveness of Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch going forward.
INF4 Energy and Communications
It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Council to promote and facilitate the development and renewal of energy and communications networks in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, while protecting the amenities of the settlement.
It is an objective of the Council:
INFO4.1 To support and facilitate the provision of telecommunications infrastructure, including broadband, in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch, subject to safety, environmental and amenity requirements.
INFO4.2 To promote and encourage the use of renewable energy technologies in existing and proposed building stock within the Draft Joint LAP area subject to consideration of environmental, conservation and visual requirements.
10.6 Natural Heritage
In addition to designated sites there are a variety of habitats and features, which are important in contributing to the biodiversity, landscape value and sense of place of the settlement. Such features include hedgerows, ditches and banks, stone walls, woodlands, rivers, streams and associated riparian zones and it is important that these areas are conserved and managed well. In addition to designated conservation sites, Kilkenny and Carlow County Council will seek to protect and enhance important landscape features including rivers, streams and associated wetlands, trees, woodlands and scrub, hedgerows and other boundary types such a stone wall and ditches.
Woodlands and individual trees also make an important contribution to the landscape setting, amenity and natural heritage of Graiguenamanagh and Tinnahinch. The Council also recognise the importance of hedgerows in terms of both ecological and visual amenity and there will be a presumption against their removal during developments. Where removal is unavoidable, suitable compensatory measures will be required.
NH1 Natural Heritage
It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to support the protection of species and habitats that are designated under the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000, the Birds Directive 1979 and the Habitats Directive 1992 as well as areas of high local biodiversity value and to ensure development with potential to impact the integrity of the Natura 2000 network will be subject to Appropriate Assessment.
It is an objective of the Plan:
NHO1.1: To identify, protect, conserve and enhance wherever possible, wildlife habitats and species of local importance, not otherwise protected by legislation. Such habitats would include woodland, river, grassland areas and field boundaries (hedgerows, stone walls and ditches). Such features form part of a network of habitats and corridors, which allow wildlife to exist and flourish and contribute to compliance with Article 10 of the Habitats Directive.
NHO 1.2: Support the protection of biodiversity and ecological connectivity within the plan area including woodlands, trees, hedgerows, roadside verge vegetation, rivers, streams, natural springs, wetlands, stonewalls, fens, geological and geo-morphological systems, other landscape features and associated wildlife, where these form part of the ecological network. Seek to retain and incorporate these natural features into developments, in order to avoid ecological fragmentation and maintain ecological corridors or stepping stones in the context of Article 10 of the Habitats Directive:
a) Seek to retain and incorporate these natural features into developments, in order to avoid ecological fragmentation and maintain ecological corridors and stepping stones.
b) Protect and enhance the water quality and ecology of the River Barrow, in the plan area and their function as ecological corridors, by maintaining the existing banks and channel.
c) Maintain and enhance biodiversity through the appropriate planting of native trees, shrubs and hedgerows indigenous to the area and of Irish provenance in public and private areas and in new developments.
d) Seek to prevent inappropriate development along the banks of the river which would negatively impact on the ecological quality and biodiversity of the waters and ecological corridor.
e) Seek to prevent the introduction of imported ash trees/plants or other such species into the plan area in line with the Plant Health Directive and any updated legislation.
f) In order to protect light sensitive species such as crayfish, lighting fixtures should provide only the amount of light necessary for personal safety and should be designed so as to avoid creating glare or emitting light above a horizontal plane.
NHO1.3: To ensure the protection of water quality due to the implementation of this Draft Joint LAP.
NHO1.4: To limit the removal of vegetation and/or alteration of bank characteristics by reserving land along the river bank for ecological corridors and maintain them free from inappropriate development and discourage culverting or realignment. The Planning Authorities shall consult with Inland Fisheries Ireland and other statutory bodies as required by the planning regulations in respect of this and shall have regard to their comments in the making of any planning decision.
10.7 Scenic Views
The Draft Joint LAP area comprises of scenic routes and views that significantly enhance the amenity value of the landscape setting. The protection of these routes and views is provided for in Appendix H in the Kilkenny County Development Plan and illustrated on Map 2 of this Draft Joint LAP. There is no protected views and prospects in Tinnahinch.
V1.View east and south over the Barrow valley on the Thomastown/Graiguenamanagh Road, R703 from Coppenagh Hill between the junctions with road numbers LP 4203 and LT 82152.
V2.View East over the Barrow Valley on the Graiguenamangh / New Ross Road and in particular the views overlooking St. Mullins, between the junctions with road numbers LP 4209 and LT 82463.
V3.View east over the Barrow Valley on the Graiguenamanagh / Ullard Road just North of Graiguenamanagh, Road No. LS8221 between the junctions with road numbers 438 and LS 8222.
V4.View to the south east over Brandon Hill on the Inistioge/Graiguenamanagh Road (LP 4209) between the junctions with road numbers LS8241 and R705.
V5.View to the south west over Inistioge and the Nore Valley on the Inistioge/Graiguenamanagh Road (LP4210) overlooking the LS8237 (between its junctions with road numbers LS8238 and the R700).
SRV1 Scenic Routes and Views
It is the policy of Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils to ensure that the proposed location, siting and design of buildings and structures and any mitigation measures identified in the Draft Joint LAP, protect the special character of the identified scenic routes and protected views.
It is an objective of the Council:
SRVO1.1: To protect the visual amenity and character of scenic routes and views in Graiguenamanagh-Tinnahinch and its hinterland as identified in the Kilkenny and Carlow County Development Plans.
SRVO1.2: To require a Visual Impact Assessment of proposals for development that may impact the special character and visual amenity of scenic routes and views as part of the planning application process. Prohibit development that will block or interfere with a significant view or prospect. Where it is considered that a development may impact on views or prospects, have regard to the significance of any such impact and any appropriate mitigation measures that should be incorporated.
SRVO1.3: Protect the landscape character in the plan area included in the Landscape Character Assessment for County Kilkenny and Carlow. Ensure that new developments are responsive to the high and special sensitivity landscapes within the plan area, visually vulnerable areas, elevated areas or locally important townscape contexts.
, National Broadband Plan, Dept of Communications, Climate Action & Environment