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• DLR’s Public Realm and Active Mobility Projects • South Dublin County Council with support from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Fortum eNext create Ireland’s first publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company • The overall quality of Ireland’s environment is not what it should be, and the outlook is not optimistic unless we accelerate action


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CONTENTS Vol 39. No. 4

FEATURES

Published by:

GILTRON LTD RIVERVIEW LODGE, DUBLIN ROAD, NAVAN, CO. MEATH. Tel: 00353 46 9072841 Email: info@localauthoritynews.ie Website: www.localauthoritynews.ie

ISSN NO. 1393-0394 LOCAL AUTHORITY NEWS is available FREE OF CHARGE and ON LINE to all Local and Central Government Bodies throughout Ireland. Published bi-monthly it is disseminated to Local Authority Managers, Assistant Managers, County Secretaries, Finance Officers, Principal Officers, Department Heads, County Engineers, City Engineers, Chief Quantity Surveyors, Senior Architects, Plant Superintendents, Senior Executive Engineers, Town Clerks, Purchasing Officers, Administrative Officers, Inspectors, Park Superintendents, County Librarians, etc. in all Government Departments, County Councils, Corporations, Office of Public Works, Urban District Councils, StateSponsored and Development Bodies and Agencies.

DLR’S PUBLIC REALM AND ACTIVE MOBILITY PROJECTS

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SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS TO BE MADE WITH A CORRECTLY SIZED AND INSTALLED HEATING SYSTEM (GRANT)

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NATIONAL WASTE COLLECTION PERMIT OFFICE (NWCPO) AT OFFALY COUNTY COUNCIL WINS ‘BEST GREEN PROCUREMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR’ CATEGORY AT THE NATIONAL PROCUREMENT AWARDS 2020 9 SOUTH DUBLIN COUNTY COUNCIL WITH SUPPORT FROM AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS) AND FORTUM ENEXT CREATE IRELAND’S FIRST PUBLICLY OWNED, NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENERGY COMPANY

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SETTING NEW STANDARDS IN SUSTAINABILITY (FIREBIRD)

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MINISTER O’BRIEN APPROVES CAPITAL COMMITMENT FOR SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT OF ALMOST €90 MILLION BY IRISH WATER IN TWO KEY PROJECTS TO INCREASE RESILIENCE AND SECURITY OF TREATED WATER SUPPLYIN THE GREATER DUBLIN AREA 15 URBAN PLANNING AND NATURE BASED SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE. LEARNINGS FROM A WEBINAR.

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THE OVERALL QUALITY OF IRELAND’S ENVIRONMENT IS NOT WHAT IT SHOULD BE, AND THE OUTLOOK IS NOT OPTIMISTIC UNLESS WE ACCELERATE ACTION (EPA) 19

REGULARS IRISH WATER UPDATES

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DEPARTMENT BRIEFS

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CLASSIFIEDS

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www.dlrcoco.ie

DLR’s Public Realm and Active Mobility Projects

ransport is by far the largest source of energy-related CO2 emissions in Ireland. In 2018 it was responsible for 40%. It is also the sector where CO2 emissions have grown the most since the end of the recession in 2012. Transport continues to dominate as the largest energy-consuming sector, with a 42% share of final consumption (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, 2019). In partnership with a range of other partners, local authorities have a key role in addressing climate action, including the reduction in emissions from the transport sector, increasing modal shift to more sustainable modes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and ultimately enhancing health and quality of life for all citizens.

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) is setting a national example and demonstrating continued leadership in improving active travel, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, to encourage the uptake of cycling and walking throughout the County. In the past months and in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council has been working in partnership with local stakeholders in a number of areas around the County, to create temporary designs for re-imagined public spaces in villages and dedicated cycling links on streets. The aim has been to provide a safe and welcoming place for residents, businesses and visitors and help re-open the County as it gets on the path to recovery following the impact from COVID-19. This range of projects includes the town and village enhancements in Blackrock, Dundrum, Dalkey and Glasthule and the Coastal Mobility Route, which is an almost 5 km long segregated cycle route between Blackrock and Sandycove. In August 2020, the Council launched its Active School Travel initiative, aimed at supporting and promoting alternative means for children to get to school in a safe and active way, by walking and cycling. This initiative is being carried out in partnership with other stakeholders, including the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, The National Transport Authority (NTA) and the An Taisce – Green Schools Travel programme.

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As part of the Active School Travel initiative, the Council launched an interactive web map, showing a range of information, including walking and cycling routes, other sustainable transport routes, and the location of bike repair outlets across the County. The web map has been viewed over 3,300 times to date. The Council also invited schools, parents, Councillors and the public to identify local travel and transport issues, where the Council could provide assistance and support in overcoming. Using the Council’s online ‘Report It’ tool, over seventy-five submissions have been received to date. As a result, the Council has assisted schools by delivering cycle stands, new cycleways, upgrade footpaths and crossings, amongst other things. The Council subsequently launched its trial School Zone initiative, which forms part of Active School Travel. The pilot project involves working with a number of schools to implement measures to prevent obstruction of school entrances and footpaths by vehicles, making it safer for those who walk and cycle to school. This trial will also inform appropriate approaches and measures that may be used at other schools across the County, in the future. In September 2020, the Council launched public engagement on three new proposed walking and cycling routes in the County, titled Sea to Mountains, Mountains to Metals and Park to Park. These new, consolidated routes totalling approximately 25 kilometres in length, are aimed at encouraging increased walking and cycling to school, and for wider use by the general public. The proposed routes join up existing cycle and walking infrastructure with quiet streets and green spaces. This is important as it accelerates the speed of delivery but also connects residential areas to the network. The three proposed routes are: The Sea to Mountains route, which will link east to west across the county. Starting at Blackrock Dart Station, crossing the N11 to Deerpark. It will then continue south linking to the Sandyford Cycle Route and Kilmacud Luas Stop and on to the Slang River Greenway and Wicklow Way. The Park to Park route, which will link north to south across the county. Starting at the coast at Blackrock Dart Station then joining to the existing pathways in Rockfield Park. From there it will continue south along Deansgrange Road linking to the Loughlinstown to Deansgrange Greenway and ending by linking south to the coast. The Mountains to Metals route, which will link east west across the county. Starting at the Sandyford Cycle Route, linking to the Sea to Mountains Route, the route also links up to the Park to Park route, north through residential areas and new developments and on to the Metals.

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In December 2020, the Council published the Public Engagement Reports on the three proposed new Safe Walking & Cycling Routes, representing the outcome of the Phase 1 consultation process. A total of 6,431 representations were submitted, reviewed, and considered as part of the process. The consultation identified a significant level of support for the proposed measures. Of the 6,431 representations received, 63% confirmed their support for the proposals, whilst 35% did not support the proposals. Further information on these proposed routes and the public engagement outcomes are available at: www.dlrcoco.ie/en/environment/active-school-travel

The Council has received approximately €9 million of funding under the Government’s July Stimulus package for sixty-five schemes, to fund a range of cycling and walking projects across the county. The type of projects includes cycle protection schemes, improved footpaths and road surfaces, and improved cycle links through parks. The Council also supports University College Dublin’s participation in the EU Horizon 2020 ‘WeCount’ project. This project aims to empower citizens to take a leading role in collecting data, evidence and knowledge of local mobility patterns. To enhance local knowledge of traffic and travel patterns across the county, DLRCC residents are invited to engage in the WeCount project, by hosting a sensor at the front of their property. Placed at a window with a clear view of the street outside, the sensor will count cars, bikes, pedestrians and heavy vehicles, thereby helping to build a traffic profile of the local area. The sensor will also monitor local air pollution, to establish a direct link between traffic and local pollution and build a stronger argument towards sustainability. Robert Burns, the Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Climate Change, said: “2020 has brought extraordinary change to our country in so many ways. In our local authority we understood that decisive action was required to develop genuine resilience in our communities against Covid-19. The development of alternative active mobility options, as well as enhanced public spaces for the safety and comfort of the community and to support local businesses in our towns and villages, has been key to enabling that resilience. We look forward now to 2021 to identify how we can build on the work we’ve done in 2020 and continue to respond to the challenges of Covid-19, climate action and to develop liveable places for people to live and work in our county.”

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Significant savings to be made with a correctly sized and installed heating system When embarking on a new build or residential upgrade project it is important to consider the heating system from the outset. Choosing the best suited heating technologies for the property and making sure that the technologies are correctly sized are key to delivering maximum efficiency and comfort levels. The heating technologies chosen for a property will be influenced by both current and future requirements and if there is a preference for radiators or underfloor heating or both to heat individual rooms. In addition, with the growing focus on sustainability, carbon reduction and reducing environmental impact, the incorporation of renewable technologies will help to future-proof the property.

Sizing for Success The sizing process begins with heat loss calculations being carried out by specialists like the Grant technical team. Using house plans, technical specialists can carry out room by room heat loss calculations in line with SR:50 requirements. This information provides the heat load requirement for each room and helps to prove compliance with Part L of the building regulations and calculate the output of the main heat source that will drive the system. In addition to the main heat source, the sizing of other components of the central heating system like hot water cylinders and heat emitters must be considered, to ensure they too are tailored to the needs of the property and those living in it. Again, this is something which the Grant Technical team can provide.

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When upgrading a heating system, it is important to consider the age of the current system and the property’s structural and aesthetic features before deciding on the size of the new heat source and complementary technologies. In addition, considerations should be made around features within the property like insulation levels and double glazing, as these will help to preserve heat. These factors should all be taken in to account when sizing a heating system. A common mistake often made is assuming that a bigger main heat source will result in a more effective heating system, which is untrue. A heating system that has not been sized in line with a property’s requirements is most likely to produce inconsistent heat using more energy, leading to increased heating bills, reduced efficiency, potential maintenance issues and the heating system not living up to expectations. As part of its free of charge heating design service, Grant’s specialist team work alongside appointed BERs, specifiers, engineers, installers, electricians, suppliers and builders to deliver a smart, bespoke heating system, consisting of correctly sized heating technologies, designed with the unique needs of the property in mind. Grant’s award-winning heating products are innovative in their design yet simple to install. Learn more about Grant’s free of charge heating design service by downloading Grant’s guides to heating a new build home and upgrading a heating system.

Visit www.grant.eu for more information on Grant’s range of innovative heating solutions and to read more about Grant’s heating design service. You can also follow Grant on Facebook and Twitter @GrantIRL or Instagram @Grant_IRL

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South Dublin County Council with support from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Fortum eNext create Ireland’s first publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company

outh Dublin County Council (SDCC) has established Ireland’s first publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company, to provide low carbon heat to local community buildings. Trading as Heatworks, the company will deliver the Tallaght District Heating Network, estimated when completed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the South Dublin County area by nearly 1,500 tonnes per year.

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The network will use excess heat from a customisation to Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) recently completed data centre to provide low carbon heat to public sector, residential and commercial customers. AWS will provide recycled heat free of charge to the scheme as part of its broader sustainability activities, and its continued assistance to Ireland in meeting its EU 2030 national heating and carbon-reduction targets. The district-heating company has contracted Fortum, a large Finnish energy supply company with extensive districtheating experience throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, to carry out the design, installation, and operation of the Tallaght network. The system will initially heat 47,000 m2 of public sector buildings, 3,000m2 of commercial space, and 135 affordable rental apartments. The supply of low-cost, low-carbon heat is expected to increase commercial competitiveness, attracting more innovative businesses and development to Tallaght town centre, facilitate educational programmes and startup opportunities in renewable energy solutions, as well as helping to mitigate fuel poverty as the heat network expands over time. The Tallaght District Heating Network is partly funded by the European Union's Inter-Reg NWE programme (Heatnet), a multi-million euro fund promoting carbon reduction through district-heating in Europe's northwest, by a further €4.5 million from the Project Ireland 2040 Climate Action Fund and through direct funding from SDCC.

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The collaboration between SDCC, AWS engineering teams, Fortum eNext, and the City of Dublin Energy Management Agency (CODEMA) has resulted in a low-carbon solution optimising the potential of recyclable heat combined with additional heat-pump technology – the first example of its kind in Ireland.

Mike Beary, Amazon Web Services, with Eddie Conroy, County Architect and Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council

The project will begin supplying heat before the end of 2021, with initial customers being SDCC and the nearby Tallaght campus of the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin). The council buildings heated by this project in the short term will include SDCC’s County Hall and Tallaght County Library followed by the Rua Red arts-hub and Civic Theatre. By 2024, the heat will also be supplied to nearby developments recently approved with planning permission, including affordable housing units, residential properties and student accommodation. Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council, said, “The Tallaght district heating network shows how public-private collaboration using well-established district-heating technology can construct a system to recycle heat from an Amazon Web Services data centre to meaningfully contribute to helping Ireland achieve its 2030 sustainability targets. We believe the work we have done with Fortum eNext and Amazon Web Services to create this scheme can become a template for other districts across Ireland. We look forward to future collaborations as South Dublin County moves towards a low-carbon future.”

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Ireland’s first district heating scheme, which will see the excess heat from our data centre being used to reduce carbon emissions in Tallaght over time,” said Mike Beary, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ireland country manager. “Our support for the district heating scheme demonstrates our continued commitment to building a more sustainable future for Ireland. We are pleased to participate in this unique project that will help the country meet its 2030 renewable energy targets.” “We are extremely proud that we were chosen to provide this low-carbon heat solution as part of an innovative project in a strongly competitive market,” said General Manager Kari Lahti from Fortum eNext, “Our knowhow has been developed and tested during our 25-year-long presence in Ireland and the UK, where we have delivered power plants and long-term operation and maintenance services for different kinds of power plants and customers.”

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Setting New Standards in Sustainability For over 40 years Firebird, headquartered in the Gaeltacht in Baile Mhic Ă?re, Co. Cork, has been a global market leader in designing and manufacturing high performance solutions for the home heating market, with a worldwide customer base.

Firebird Heating Solutions is one of the first to trial and test HVO in Ireland. Its trials are proving how household greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 90% with CO2 emissions decreasing by up to 6 tonnes annually. It requires little or no modification to the existing home heating system - no significant investment or capital costs, simply the introduction of the Firebird HVO burner to deliver instant savings for the homeowner and environment.

Responsibility comes with being a market leader, and over the past number of years Firebird, with a clear focus on renewables and sustainability, has dedicated many resources and invested heavily in developing products with increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and products that use more renewable and sustainable fuel sources. Firebird’s mission is to play a pivotal role to support households, communities, and governments to adopt and strengthen its sustainability practices. Through its R&D centre, Firebird has and is continuing to develop new and groundbreaking renewable heating solutions and products for the market. These products include their Firebird Enviroair Air Source Heat Pumps, which are NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) compliant, with a low running cost PCB controller and high-tech intelligent heating controls, as well as a wide range of supporting products and solar solutions. Firebird also manufactures the most efficient oil boiler on the market at 97.5% efficiency and NOX emissions as low as 60mg/kWhr which is half the EU limits, thus ensuring the use of very little fuel which is kinder to the environment and to customers’ pockets.

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Mark Doyle, General Manager of Firebird stated “Ireland needs to be scoring better compared to other EU members in the fight against global warming and we all have a part to play. Homeowners need to be given more choice on renewable and sustainable heating solutions. Manufacturers like us have to develop products that are far more environmentally friendly, and the government has to work with us to find a sensible approach for Ireland to achieve its emission targets.” As well as leading the way in sustainable products, Firebird, is also working to find a solution to the over Norman Armstrong, Training Consultant with SERC (South Eastern Regional reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in College) in Co. Down and Cathal Rafferty, National Sales Manager from Firebird rural areas. inspecting the efficiency of HVO as a drop-in replacement to Kerosene.

One such solution would be the introduction of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils) to the Irish home heating market. HVO fuel is fossil free, and reduces greenhouse emissions by over 90%, is sustainable and renewable and a drop-in replacement to current fossil fuels. There are no significant expensive up-front capital costs, just the introduction of the Firebird HVO burner to the boiler and it can be implemented almost immediately. However, there is a downside as HVO is not currently readily available in Ireland. Firebird and the trade association OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) believe that if the Irish Government would support the introduction of HVO into the domestic home heating market, it could solve so many environmental problems, in particular in locations where other proposed solutions are just not practical. Mark stated “The government has a strategy to move everyone to electric heat pumps in domestic situations. The problem with this strategy is that in Ireland there are over 700,000 homes with existing liquid fuel boilers. Approximately half of these homes are older builds so are not suitable currently for this heating solution. Consequently, these homes would have to be retrofitted, costing as much as €30,000 per household.” “HVO can work with any liquid fuel boiler and if used in homes, can potentially make these homes almost carbon neutral immediately.” Mark added. “We are already in talks with other governments, who are embracing the concept of alternative eco friendly fuels as they have similar issues as we have in Ireland, with our rural and older stock of homes as 42% of homes in specific countries were built before 1919.” Firebird has first hand experience with HVO as they use the fuel to power their plants in Plymouth and Newry and recently introduced it into their plant in Cork. Firebird has already completed successful case studies using HVO for home heating in homes in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. These studies saw HVO fossil free fuel achieve a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases, 95% efficiency, 100% sustainability. No capital costs were incurred and there was no requirement for new boilers or tanks. This innovative approach to problem solving is just one of the reasons why Firebird is a market leader in home heating; always adapting, always developing practical world class solutions with a mission to set new standards of sustainability for the home heating market.

To learn more about Firebird home heating solutions visit www.firebird.ie or contact Firebird Heating Solutions: Tel: 026 45253 Email: info@firebird.ie

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Minister O’Brien approves capital commitment for significant investment of almost €90 million by Irish Water in two key projects to increase resilience and security of treated water supplyin the Greater Dublin Area he Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD along with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has approved capital commitments for investment of almost €90 million between the Saggart Resevoir Project and Ballycoolen Trunk Watermain Project for commencement in 2021.

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Commenting Minister O’Brien said: “Both of these Irish Water projects will improve the security and resilience of treated water supply to the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). Irish Water will now be able to proceed with works for both projects early in 2021 with construction expected to take over two years to complete. These projects will also contribute towards increasing the capacity to cater for residential and commercial development across the Dublin region." The Saggart Resevoir Project includes the design and construction of a new 100 million litres (ML) covered treated water reservoir at the existing Saggart Waterworks (originally constructed in 1951) to store water supplied from Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant. The delivery of strategic storage at Saggart is one of three measures identified by Irish Water to meet the increasing demands within the GDA in advance of a long term water supply solution, the other two being to transfer spare capacity in the Srowland Water Treatment Plant in Athy to the GDA, and to deliver leakage reduction throughout the region. Some 600 ML/day of treated water currently produced in the GDA Water Network meets existing demand levels to supply approximately 1.5m customers in Dublin and the surrounding areas. However, there is limited headroom capacity available - only c. 3% (c.18ML/d) and at times of water stress (e.g. drought) this limited capacity can be reduced further. The Ballycoolen Trunk Watermain Project involves the design and construction of a new 9km trunk watermain providing additional pipeline capacity between the strategic storage capacity at Ballycoolen Reservoir (which stores treated water sourced from the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant) and Swords. Minister O’Brien added: “This project will improve security of supply and provide greater network resilience in the GDA. It will mean an increase in the capacity of the existing strategic network to cater for existing and future residential and commercial development and enable long term social and economic development of the wider Fingal area where I am acutely aware of the challenges which exist.”

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Urban Planning and Nature Based Surface Water Management: From theory to practice. Learnings from a WEBINAR. urface water management should form an integral part of urban planning, regardless of scale. As we know, climate change is already resulting in more frequent and intense rainfall, and the impact of this on urban areas is increased as infiltration rates are significantly less through hard surface areas compared to greenfield sites. This brings challenges in terms of drainage, traditionally addressed by hard engineering options (concrete gullies, pipes, drains etc) resulting in increasing flood and pollution risk. Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) to address flood risk were introduced several decades ago and are promoted in The OPW's (2009) Guidelines for Planning Authorities "The Planning System and Flood Risk Management".

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Filter strip on N24 provides not only extra surface run off soakage but also biodiversity and amenity benefits.

More recently, a Nature Based approach to SuDS (or Natural Water Retention Measures) has come more into prominence, in response to the water, climate and biodiversity crisis facing the planet. This approach is promoted internationally by organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and supported by the EU's Green Deal. Nature Based SuDS work with nature (rather than against it) and are now being mainstreamed across the globe. The benefits of taking a nature-based approach includes not just flood risk management benefits but also improved water quality (e.g. can filter out >80% heavy metals), biodiversity (e.g., provide habitat for range of species) and Climate adaptation and mitigation (resilience, micro-climate cooling etc and carbon sequestration). Currently most County Development plans reference SuDS, but in practice its application across the country varies considerably. SuDS Simply removing Kerbs and correct cambering allows water to attenuate should involve the use of interconnected into a mini-raingarden. Combined with other SuDS features, it is that collective and integrated approach that provides for the best nature based techniques from source (i.e., surface water management. Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. hard surfaces such as roofs or roads) to the receptor (e.g., a river or stream) but often only single elements are employed rather than a complete “train” of “treatment systems”. Additionally, there is often an over reliance by developers on “the concrete pipe and underground tank” because of their familiarity. They are often reluctant to use nature-based SuDS because of concerns regarding space needed, efficacy, lack of experience, maintenance needs, etc. SuDS planned properly addresses these issues. But the elements should act in an integrated fashion (like urban mini-catchments)–and Nature Based SuDS such as Green roofs, Swales, bioretention areas, rain gardens, wetlands. have the added advantage that they are located overground. They are, therefore, often less expensive to construct and easier to maintain than underground solutions and provide multiple additional benefits (filtering pollutants, biodiversity, amenity value etc). However, in order to achieve these aims, it is vital that this integrated approach is incorporated into the earliest stages of planning such as Development Plans, Local Area Plans and Strategic Development zones. The role 16


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of green infrastructure in providing nature-based surface water solutions must be incorporated into these early design stages (e.g., removing kerbs and allowing verges act as swales or lowering the level of a local park or pitch to provide flood storage) In response to requests from local authority staff consulted by LAWPRO at Water Framework Directive workshops held across the country, a webinar was organised on November 9th 2020 to explore, discuss and learn about the potential of Nature Based Surface Water Management in Ireland. Organised in association with the Irish Planning Institute, Engineers Ireland and the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage and launched by Minister of State Malcom Noonan, the webinar approached the above referenced areas of nature based solutions and how best to implement them, having canvassed planners and engineers in particular. The webinar also looked at key overlapping areas such as the Water Framework Directive, and wider Statutory agency objectives (e.g. OPW and Inland Fisheries Ireland). The webinar also included the launch by Inland Fisheries Ireland of their revised “Guidelines for Urban planning along watercourses� – making the case for sustainable development by making space for water and amenity use.https://www.fisheriesireland.ie/extranet/fisheries-management-1/1756-ifi-urban-watercourses-planningguide-2020-update.html The event culminated in a discussion moderated by Adrian Conway (former executive manager with Dublin City Council) with Water and Planning representatives from Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the OPW. A subsequent poll of attendees (almost 500) showed a significant percentage of attendees were planners and engineers, mostly from local authorities but also the private sector. Other attending disciplines Included architects, landscape architects, environmental, climate action, heritage, biodiversity, community and enterprise. Attendees emphasised the need for a multidisciplinary approach to successful implementation within local authorities and County Development Plans. Feedback from the attendees also confirmed that Nature Based SUDS would significantly benefit water, climate adaptation, biodiversity, and human well-being objectives. However, 81% of respondents believed that Nature Based SUDS were not being adequately implemented in Ireland. Improvements in factors such as policies, legislation, leadership, governance, technical guidance, training, local government capacity and funding were considered necessary by the majority of respondents. The engagement of other state agencies, Inland Fisheries, Office of Public Works, National Parks and Wildlife and the EPA as well as the private sector was further emphasised. The need for a cross agency and multi-disciplinary integrated approach was also emphasised, incorporating all aspects of urban planning and design, from strategic and planning phases to the more detailed preparation or assessment of plans and projects. Next steps.

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A key objective of the workshop was to explore the relevance of Nature Based SUDS in the Irish context. This was roundly supported by the attendees. The next steps (as recommended from the post Webinar online poll) will be to scope out the needs for developing a comprehensive national implementation strategy for SuDS. This may culminate in the development of guidance, training, and case studies. The Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage will work with local authorities and other relevant authorities to organise the development of guidance with LAWPRO and partners. Training can then be organised using best practice examples. Complimentary to this is the Climate Action training being organised by the CAROs which will include some focus on Nature Based SuDS. The Southern Regional Assembly are also coordinating a project with 3 Local Authorities and Irish Water working on best practice case studies for Green and Blue Infrastructure in the Urban environment.

Green roof on Ballyogan depot addressing stormwater runoff. Source Elaine Carroll & Joe Craig, DĂşn Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

The survey poll will form the basis of an outputs report, which will be available on the LAWPRO website www.watersandcommunities.ie together with the WEBINAR presentations. Interestingly it is widely reported that the Covid 19 Pandemic has brought people closer to nature. So this offers an opportunity for us all to promote Nature Based SuDS in a changing climate environment. Let’s not waste this opportunity.

We would like to thank all who contributed to the lead up to the event and post event analysis for their support. Authors: Fran Igoe, Southern Regional Coordinator, Local Authority Waters Programme. John Stack, Executive Engineer, Dublin City Council.Adrian Conway, former Executive Manager, Dublin City Council. Colin Byrne, Senior Advisor, Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage

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The overall quality of Ireland’s environment is not what it should be, and the outlook is not optimistic unless we accelerate action Launching the EPA seventh State of the Environment Report, Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: “The overall quality of Ireland’s environment is not what it should be, and the outlook is not optimistic unless we accelerate the implementation of solutions across all sectors and society.” Ireland’s Environment: An Integrated Assessment 2020 reveals that enduring and systemic challenges are putting pressure on the environment and remain to be solved. These cut across different environmental topics such as climate, air, soil, water, biodiversity and waste, and across organisations and sectors, business and all levels of society. Specific examples include: •

Almost ninety per cent of our energy is generated from fossil fuels giving rise to greenhouse gases;

air quality in some urban areas doesn’t meet WHO standards;

nature and habitats are being damaged (85% of EU listed habitats are in unfavourable condition);

wetland bird species, such as curlew, are under threat as a breeding species;

raw sewage is being discharged to water from 35 towns and villages;

even more stark is the dramatic reduction in the number of Ireland’s most pristine rivers, which have fallen from over 500 sites to only 20 sites in 30 years;

nutrient concentrations in rivers and nutrient inputs to the marine environment are increasing;

more than one million tonnes of food waste is generated each year in Ireland,

littering remains a problem, resulting in thousands of complaints annually to local authorities.

A key message from Ireland’s Environment: An Integrated Assessment 2020 is that the absence of an overarching national environmental policy position is negatively impacting on success across multiple environment-related plans and policies - the sum of the parts does not make up a coherent whole.

EPA Director, General Laura Burke said: “Environmental issues and challenges such as climate change, air quality, water quality and biodiversity cannot be looked at in isolation, as they are complex, interconnected and need to be tackled in an integrated way. Now is the time for an overarching environmental policy position for Ireland - to be clear on our ambition to protect Ireland’s environment in the short, medium and long-term and on our commitment to live up to the image of a Clean Green Island.

"We need to see a decade of action in the 2020s. A policy position would provide a national vision that all government departments, agencies, businesses, communities and individuals can sign up to, to play their part in protecting our environment. “In addition to such a policy position, our report also calls for better implementation and delivery of existing legislation and policies. Many plans and programmes are already in place which, if fully implemented, would go a long way towards resolving persistent environmental issues. Full implementation of, and compliance with, legislation is a must to protect the environment.” In relation to greenhouse gas emissions, the report’s data confirms Ireland’s underachievement in curbing emissions and meeting stated targets. It shows that the longer we delay, the more difficult it will become to turn things around to meet our obligations.

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It is more than meeting targets - the real goal for Ireland in the face of climate disruption is to have a resilient and stable society and economy, one that is carbon neutral through its own efforts and natural attributes. The report has also found that nature and wild places in Ireland are under unprecedented pressure and need to be better safeguarded, both locally and in protected areas. Our action to protect nature needs to be more ambitious. We need to identify the pathway to transformative change for nature protection in Ireland and reverse wider current trends in biodiversity and habitat loss. Very topically, the EPA report highlights people’s greater awareness about the positive benefits of a clean environment for health and wellbeing. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has shown people the importance of the natural environment in their local areas.

Dr Micheal Lehane, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Assessment, said: “Ireland is already losing much of what is important in its environment. Unspoilt areas are being squeezed out and we are losing our pristine waters and the habitats that provide vital spaces for biodiversity.

"Now, more than ever, Ireland’s green and blue spaces, which include urban parks, coasts, lakes, rivers, forest and bogs, are essential components of our health infrastructure. These allow people to get out in nature and away from everyday stresses, to the benefit of health and wellbeing and they need to be clean and protected. An investment in the environment is also an investment in our health.” This comprehensive State of the Environment Report includes chapters on industry, transport, agriculture, air and water quality, nature and health and is available to download from the EPA website.

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Castlemaine to reap environmental, social and economic benefits from major upgrade of wastewater infrastructure

Irish Water is pleased to confirm that a major upgrade of the Castlemaine Wastewater Treatment Plant has been completed, bringing big benefits to the local community now and for years to come. The village, located at the gateway to West Kerry, has long been celebrated in story and song and is a popular destination for visitors to the region. This project will ensure that it can continue to grow and develop, while protecting the waters of the River Maine as well as Castlemaine Harbour and Inch Beach.

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The new sewerage scheme comprises a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, pumping station and sewer pipelines to replace the old wastewater infrastructure which was outdated and no longer fit for purpose. It was developed at an overall cost of €6.6m with the Design Build contractor, Glan Agua Ltd., commencing construction works in summer 2019. This project ends the discharge of poorly treated effluent to the River Maine at Castlemaine, protecting the river which flows into Castlemaine Harbour and ultimately improving the water quality for the entire region. All wastewater discharges will now be fully compliant with national and EU regulations. This investment will also help secure the future of Castlemaine by providing a platform for future sustainable growth and development. Anthony Kavanagh, Irish Water Infrastructure Delivery Lead, said : “We are delighted to announce the completion of this essential project here in Castlemaine. Not only will it enhance the environment and protect local waterways, it also ensures that the capacity is in place to support the ongoing growth of this proud and thriving community. “This important investment for Castlemaine underlines Irish Water’s commitment to tackling the sizeable wastewater challenges around the country by upgrading old wastewater facilities and ending the discharge of inadequately treated wastewater. “We would like to thank local residents and businesses for their co-operation and support as we carried out this work over the past 18 months. Jim Kavanagh, Local Authority Project Manager with Kerry County Council said: “Kerry County Council has worked on developing this project for many years and would like to thank Irish Water for providing the required investment and technical input to deliver this essential project for the people of Castlemaine. With tourism and sustainability playing such a crucial role in all aspects of life in this area, the importance of providing effective treatment of wastewater cannot be overstated, both for those who live and work here and for the many visitors to this most scenic part of Kerry.” Significant capital investment is needed over a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in the Government’s Water Services Policy Statement and Irish Water’s Strategic Funding Plan. Irish Water has invested €3.8 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure to the end of 2019 and plans to invest a further €5.2 billion under its Capital Investment Programme from 2020 to 2024 in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure. To view a video about how this project will bring big benefits to Castlemaine, go to https://youtu.be/XIqZvOKAls8

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Successful completion of Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing Contract

Irish Water has completed the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project as it works, in partnership with Cork County Council, towards ending the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage directly into Cork Lower Harbour. This landmark engineering feat involved two of the longest horizontal directional drills ever carried out in Ireland under the Lee Estuary. These drilled bores allowed the installation of sewer pipelines 60m under the Lee Estuary – creating a vital connection between Cobh and Monkstown. This connection will allow the raw sewage from Cobh town to be transferred for treatment, once work on the Cobh Town Networks contract is complete in 2021. The completion of this latest stage of the project means that Monkstown Park can be handed back to the local community complete with local upgrades and improvements. In addition, O’Connor Utilities Limited, working on Irish Water’s behalf, has won the inaugural Ervia Major Projects Contractor Safety Award for the safe delivery of this contract. Déaglán Healy, Project Manager for Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project, said: “This is another important milestone in our project working towards ending the discharge of raw sewage into Cork Harbour with all the environmental, social and economic benefits that will bring. “We would like to particularly thank the local community for their continuing support. Their patience and cooperation with our contractor, O’Connor Utilities, in partnership with Long O’Donnell, Nicholas O’Dwyer and our own Irish Water project team, has greatly contributed to the safe and successful completion of these works.”

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“We are also delighted to be able to return the reinstated Monkstown Park, with a new surface and multi-use games area to the basketball court, additional drainage to the levelled and reseeded football pitch, and a new wildflower area and bug hotel. The bug hotel has been constructed using sections of the pipe type that has been installed under the Estuary, to represent how these pipes are working underground where we cannot see them – bringing raw sewage for treatment, leading to better water quality in the sea at Monkstown and all the Cork Lower Harbour area - improving the environment we all live in. “Safety is at the heart of everything we do and we are delighted to acknowledge the leadership, determination and committed approach of O’Connor Utilities Limited towards promoting safety around all their work on the Estuary Crossing contract.” Work is progressing well on the Cobh Town Networks Contract, with construction well advanced on the five pumping stations, and over 4.6 kilometres of the total seven kilometres of sewer pipes laid to date. When works in Cobh are complete in 2021, the raw sewage from Cobh town will be collected and transferred for treatment via the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing to Monkstown pumping station, from where it will be pumped to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment before its safe discharge to the harbour. When construction on the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project commenced in 2015, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage was discharging into the Harbour every day. We are now treating the equivalent of 30,000 of those 40,000 wheelie bins by completing the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant and pipelines and pumping stations on the south side of the harbour so that wastewater from Ringaskiddy, Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Passage West and Monkstown is now being treated. When all the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage works are complete in 2021, the project will, in compliance with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, treat all wastewater from the agglomerations of: •

Ringaskiddy-Crosshaven-Carrigaline;

Ringaskiddy village;

Passage West-Monkstown;

Cobh town.

This means 20,000 homes and businesses will be connected to the new scheme and that raw sewage from these areas will no longer be discharged into the harbour, positively impacting the local economy and greatly improving the amenity value of the Cork Lower Harbour for the surrounding communities. Irish Water is working at this time, with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard that the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services. For more information on the project, information days and works information please contact the project team at corklowerharbour@water.ie or view our Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project section.

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Minister Darragh O’Brien visits Leixlip Water Treatment plant to mark significant milestone in upgrading the plant The delivery of the upgrade will safeguard the water supply for homes and businesses in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). Irish Water’s Managing Director, Niall Gleeson and Fingal County Council’s Chief Executive, AnnMarie Farrelly welcomed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, Chairman of Ervia, Tony Keohane and Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O'Donoghue, to the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant to see first-hand the progress being made on the upgrade of the old water treatment plant. The delivery of the upgrade will safeguard the water supply for homes and businesses in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). About the works The works started in June 2018 and are being carried out as quickly and as safely as possible whilst maintaining a safe drinking water supply to more than 600,000 people across the GDA. A significant milestone has been reached as 15 filters have been upgraded and are now operational. Each of these filters can process up to 12 mega litres of water per day, that’s the equivalent of 5 olympic sized swimming pools. The work to install an ultra-violet disinfection system will be completed early next year resulting in a safer more secure water supply for homes and businesses served by the plant. Furthermore the risk of any future Boil Water Notices will be greatly reduced. Irish Water is also delivering a number of other significant projects to further support the water needs of the GDA now and into the future. Irish Water is upgrading the Vartry Water Supply Scheme by building a new treatment plant in Vartry, and upgrading the treated water reservoir at Stillorgan, these upgrades are due to be operational next year. Strategic link Irish Water has recently started work on the construction of a strategic link between Srowland and Ballymore Eustace water treatment plants which will help to build resilience in the water distribution network. This project will allow the production of up to an additional 18 mega litres of drinking water per day from Srowland water treatment plant for communities in Kildare and the wider GDA. Along with our Local Authority partners, Irish Water is also fixing leaks and upgrading the water supply system. As part of our leakage reduction programme, Irish Water has replaced over 100km of water mains in the Greater Dublin Area since 2018, which is the equivalent of two M50s. Speaking at the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, said, “The upgrade of the old Leixlip Water Treatment Plant demonstrates how Irish Water, working in partnership with Fingal County Council, is delivering infrastructural improvements that are critical for our communities and our economy. This is the second largest water treatment plant in the country and supplies water to more than 600,000 people through a vast network of pipes. The delivery of this project along with a number of other ambitious projects across the GDA will help to support existing and future residential and commercial development.” Speaking about the upgrade works at Leixlip Water Treatment plant and the water supply in the Greater Dublin Area, Niall Gleeson, Managing Director, Irish Water, said, “Delivering upgrades of this magnitude at an operational water treatment plant serving 600,000 people is challenging and the progress made is a testament to the collaboration between Irish Water, Fingal County Council and our contractors Glan Agua. Following the imposition of two Boil Water Notices on the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant last year this upgrade project was expedited. It is one of a portfolio of water projects that we are delivering to safeguard the water supply to

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homes and businesses right across the GDA. The water supply and demand balance in the GDA remains critical as we use almost every drop of water that is produced. I would like to remind people that treated drinking water is not an unlimited supply so conserve where possible and only use what you need.” Speaking about the upgrades works at Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: “I welcome the recent investment by Irish Water, which has enabled the upgrading of the old water treatment plant at Leixlip to be expedited. Our staff operate the plant at Leixlip, under a Service Level Agreement, on behalf of Irish Water. They have done a fantastic job over the past 12 months to keep the second largest water treatment plant in Ireland going while facilitating the upgrade works and dealing with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Collaboration Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing. For more information on this project, view the Leixlip project page.

Irish Water’s Managing Director, Niall Gleeson and Fingal County Council’s Chief Executive, AnnMarie Farrelly welcomed Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, Chairman of Ervia, Tony Keohane and Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O'Donoghue, to the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant to see first-hand the progress being made on the upgrade of the old water treatment plant. Pictured (L-R) Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O Donoghue; Managing Director of Irish Water, Niall Gleeson; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien; Chairman of Ervia, Tony Keohane; Plant Manager, Derek Judge and Chief Executive of Fingal, AnneMarie Farrelly [photos by Naoise Culhane]

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New wastewater treatment projects for Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera, Coachford, Innishannon and Dripsey reach halfway point

Irish Water is marking the halfway point of four significant projects across County Cork, which will see an investment of â‚Ź27 million in new wastewater infrastructure for the Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera, Coachford, Innishannon and Dripsey areas. Existing wastewater infrastructure in these areas was overloaded and outdated. These projects are delivering new wastewater treatment plants, as well as new network infrastructure, in each of the four villages. Irish Water and Cork County Council are working in partnership to deliver this project. On completion, the new infrastructure will end the discharge of poorly treated effluent and improve water quality in the receiving waters in each area. Once operational, the new plants will ensure compliance with wastewater discharge regulations, boosting each of the four areas by enhancing the local environment, protecting health and supporting economic development. EPS Group Ltd. is working on behalf of Irish Water to deliver this project. Reflecting on reaching the halfway point of the four projects, Seamus Glynn, Regional Infrastructure Lead with Irish Water said, “All new infrastructure on these projects has been sized to accommodate future population growth. These projects will enhance the local environment and provide a platform for social and economic development of each area well into the future."

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“We look forward to continuing to work with the local communities to deliver these projects in conjunction with our partners Cork County Council and EPS Group Ltd. Up until now, wastewater treatment has been mainly by septic tank in these villages and this technology is outdated and not meeting the required standards. The new wastewater treatment plants will bring big benefits, including enhancing the amenity value of each area. ”“Irish Water is confident that these projects will bring significant benefits to the Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera, Coachford, Dripsey and Innishannon areas for many years to come.” These projects are being delivered as part of Irish Water’s investment plan. Irish Water’s investment plan prioritises key outcomes such as leakage, water supply zones removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List, areas where there is raw sewage entering the rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations), and areas identified by the European Court of Justice under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. Irish Water and our appointed Contractor, EPS Group Ltd., will remain in contact with the local communities throughout the remainder of the works. Proposed programme of works in each area: Coachford Site investigation works commenced in late 2019. Construction of the new wastewater treatment plant and sewer network is ongoing, while the outfall pipe is substantially complete. Irish Water anticipates these works will be complete by Q4 2021. On completion, the new plant will serve a population of approximately 1,600 people. Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera Works, including earthworks and construction of the new wastewater treatment plant, commenced at the end of 2019. Construction of the new wastewater treatment plant and pumping station are largely complete with mechanical works ongoing. Irish Water anticipates that these works will be complete in Q2 of 2021. On completion, the new plant and infrastructure will serve a population of approximately 2,600 people.

Innishannon Site investigation works were completed in late 2019. Construction of the sewer infrastructure and river crossing is complete. Construction of the new plant is progressing. Irish Water anticipates that these works will be complete by Q1 of 2022. On completion, the new plant and infrastructure will serve a population of approximately 1,600 people. Dripsey Earthworks associated with the new plant commenced early in 2020. Construction of the new sewer pipeline is substantially complete, while upgrades to the plant are ongoing. Irish Water anticipates that these works will be complete by Q3 of 2021. On completion, the new plant and infrastructure will serve a population of approximately 600 people.

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€1.5 million available for heritage-led regeneration of towns in 2021 Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Heritage Council continue support for Ireland’s Historic Towns A total of €1.5 million has been allocated for the heritage-led regeneration of towns around the country. The funds, which will be released next year, will be particularly welcome by urban areas hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme was announced by Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD. “I am delighted to launch another year of the Historic Towns Initiative, which will support the regeneration of even more Irish historic towns. This Initiative will make €1.5 million available to a number of towns which will in turn help drive investment and renewal,” said Minister Noonan. “Heritage-led regeneration can breathe new life into a town, helping to provide an attractive environment where people can live and work. The renewed vibrancy in the heart of a town brings its own economic benefits as footfall and visitor numbers increase and new light shines into once-vacant commercial and residential premises.” The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2021 is a joint undertaking by the Department and the Heritage Council. To date, a total of 18 towns have benefitted under the scheme with a variety of projects funded over the past three years. This year, those that received financial assistance are: Ramelton, County Donegal, Roscommon town, County Roscommon, Sligo, Co Sligo, Clones, Co Monaghan, Ballina, County Mayo, Callan, Co Kilkenny and Tralee, Co Kerry. These included streetscape conservation projects such as works to traditional railings, render and joinery and historic roof maintenance. Welcoming the launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, said: “By investing in the rich built heritage of our towns, The Historic Towns Initiative conserves and celebrates the

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features which make them unique. I am very proud of this partnership between the Heritage Council and my Department and I am delighted that the expanded 2021 scheme will enable us to work together to support even more towns in their heritage-led regeneration.” Commenting on the Historic Towns Initiative, Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr Michael Parsons said: “Programmes such as this rely on the strength of local communities and businesses in caring for their historic town. With support from local and national government we can use heritage to improve the quality of life for all in our historic towns.” Virginia Teehan, Heritage Council CEO, said: “This blending of the old and the new is a key factor in the regeneration of our towns. And this initiative clearly fulfils this objective. Over the past year there have been some outstanding examples where the fusion of community effort coupled with expertise in the heritage field have come together with a common purpose.

“We are confident that in the coming year will see further examples of projects and initiatives which improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, while at the same time preserving the integrity of our past.” A town seeking to benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants. The HTI 2021 is open for applications from local authorities from 11th December 2020. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. The closing date is 5th February 2020. The Heritage Council will host an online workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2021 on 14 January For more information about the Historic Towns Initiative visit https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/projects/historic-towns-initiative

Funding of €63.5m for Greenways in 2021 confirmed Minister Eamon Ryan, TD Minister of Transport, and Hildegarde Naughton, TD Minister of State, have confirmed the allocation of funding for a range of Greenways across the country. Announcing the allocations, Minister Ryan said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm that the allocation of €63.5m to Greenways for 2021 is the highest single year amount ever allocated to Greenways. Indeed, it nearly equals the total amount originally allocated for the 4 years 2018-2021 (€53m) and shows the commitment of this Government to providing a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling. "I’m pleased to announce that we will contribute a significant amount to the Great Southern Greenway in Limerick to support the work of the County Council in bringing the Greenway up to a modern standard. This will ensure that cyclists will have a quality experience all the way from Rathkeale, Co.Limerick to Listowel, Co.Kerry. This funding will also support the refurbishment of the Longford Canal with improved infrastructure being provided along this cycleway.

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"In County Offaly we are funding the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry, meaning that by the end of next year it will be possible to cycle the Greenway the whole way from Edenderry to Lough Boora, over 50km worth of cycleway. This funding will also be used for refurbishment of the Longford Canal with improved infrastructure being provided along this cycleway. "We will also support the refurbishment of the disused New Ross to Waterford Railway as part of the Greenway connecting New Ross to Waterford City which incorporates the Kilkenny Greenway. This cycleway will ultimately form part of an extensive cycling and walking network across the South East region and provide an environmentally friendly alternative for commuters into Waterford and New Ross.” Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said: “The allocations of €63.5 million being made today will go a long way in delivering a safe and sustainable environment for active travel in our villages, towns and cities. We are funding the construction of a Greenway bridge across the River Shannon in Athlone as part of the Galway to Dublin Greenway. This investment will support even greater numbers enjoying our outdoors by cycling and walking for school, work and leisure.

"We are also supporting the roll-out of a new Safe Routes to School Initiative. This programme will seek to accelerate the delivery of improved walking and cycling infrastructure to schools; enhance sustainable access onto school grounds; and expand the amount of cycle parking available at schools. Underpinning this new initiative, we will see almost €1 million per day spent on our walking and cycling infrastructure in the year 2021. "2021 is only the start, we will continue to build on this level of investment over the coming years.” Projects and project promoters and Totals €10,000,000 2020 - €8,800,000

Cork, Midleton-Youghal

Galway, Clifden- Recess

€3,350,000

Kildare, Grand Canal Aylmer Bridge to Sallins

€2,930,000

Kerry, Tralee Fenit

€3,440,000

Kerry, Listowel to Limerick County Boundary

€4,540,000

Mayo, Great Western Way expansion

€5,150,000

Offaly, Grand Canal Daingean to Lough Boora

€1,660,000

Wexford, Waterford- New Ross

€9,000,000 2020 - €6,210,000

Wicklow, Blessington Loop

€6,400,000 2020 - €8,358,000

TII , Galway- Athlone

€8,100,000

South Kerry Greenway

€1,400,000

Galway Moycullen

€1,800,000

Offaly, Daingean to Edenderry

€3,100,000

Limerick, refurbishment of Great Southern Greenway

€2,500,000

Longford Canal Greenway

€172,000

Totals for all projects for 2021 - €63,542,000 The increased level of funding is representative of the fact that local authorities were originally funded at a rate of 60% pre COVID-19. In recognition of the negative impact COVID-19 has had on local authorities, funding will now be provided at a rate of 100%.

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Profile for Giltron

Local Authority News - Vol. 39. No. 4  

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