The Brothers of Charity have submitted plans to the County Council to create a network of more than 4km of walking trails in Clarinbridge.
Planning permission is being sought for works that would involve creating or improving walking trails on the ground of Kilcornan Estate at the east end of Clarinbridge.
In total the project encompasses ten walking trails, six of which will be new creations, and the remainder of which are existing trails which will be upgraded.
The applications states that “the proposed development would enhance the character of the area, adding to the facilities that can be enjoyed by the local communities on a daily basis”.
“It is noted that due to the recent unprecedented times caused by COVID-19, communities have been using local facilities more frequently than before.”
“It is suggested that the additional walkways proposed in this development will help cater for a larger footfall than originally planned for. The existing footpaths will be upgraded and signposted.”
The different sections of the proposed network are:
- Riverbank Walkway – a 606m trail which includes a raised wooden Bog Bridge, a resurfaced existing stone pathway and new section of the same, and a grassland walkway.
- Cowpark Trail – A 690m long grassland walkway.
- Coillte owned Woodland – two stretches of existing walkway, 756m long in total, to be resurfaced.
- Farmland Trail – 623m of walking trails with a gravel surface.
- An existing trail with no works to take place.
- Woodland Walkway – 434m of walking trails in three sections, one of which already exists, and two to be created.
- Entrance Avenue – 883m of unbound gravel walkway.
As part of the upgrade works, an number of trail benches made from 100% recycled plastic will be placed throughout the network.
The owner of Paddy Burke’s Bar & Restaurant in Clarinbridge, Brian Carr, said in a submission with the application that he is “fully behind” the proposed walking trails, and is willing to allow his property to be used to help enable them.
“I am willing to let walkers use my carpark for the village entry to the walking trail. I sincerely hope this walk way goes ahead as I feel it would be beneficial to the local community, as we have been hit badly by the new motorway.”
Submissions of support for the proposal were also submitted to the council by Colga FC and Clarinbridge GAA.
Coillte has granted permission for lands owned by the state agency to be used in the project, as has the county council itself, though this consent stipulates that it “does not constitute a view by the Council on the merits or otherwise of any planning application that you may submit”.
A Natura Impact Statement and Ecological Impact Assessment were both submitted with this application.
The application also notes that there are four Protected Structures within the subject, Kilcornan Estate and its wrought iron entrance gates, Clarinbridge Bridge, and a 16th century Roman Catholic Church.
Galway County Council is due to make a decision on approving this network of walking trails by February 11.