2.6 Amenities and Services
2.6.1 Open Space, Walkways & Tourism Potential
The area along the bank of the River Suir is the main area of open space in Fiddown; this is linked to the village via Strand Road and a pedestrian right-of-way extending from the village, across the railway line, onto Strand Road. There are areas of open space within residential developments in the village, and also an area designated in this plan for open space along the Strand Road.
The amenity area situated on the bank of the River Suir, off the Strand Road, adjacent to the site of Fiddown Castle, is poorly maintained and is not an attractive amenity area at present. However the area has significant amenity and tourist potential, for water-based recreation, such as canoeing, boating and fishing. The area would also benefit from the provision of seating, bins and planting. An interpretative sign relating to the ecology natural heritage and archaeology of the area could be included, including details of the history of osier cultivation on Fiddown Island and associated tradition of basket making.
Proposals should seek to improve the quality of ‘buffer’ areas by restoring riparian woodland or wetland habitats close to the river.
The tourist potential of the area could be examined in conjunction with other relevant bodies such as Kilkenny City and County Tourism, Bord Fáilte, Kilkenny Leader Partnership, local community groups and business interests.
The existing oil depots along the bank of the river, have been included within an integrated tourism zoning objective, to facilitate a use that would be complimentary to the ecological and amenity setting of the river, should the existing use cease on site.
The Council’s Parks Department award small amounts of monies each year which are matched by funds raised locally for small scale local amenity improvement incentives under the Amenity Grants Scheme.
The amenity area could serve as a starting point for a River Suir Walk, which could connect Fiddown to Piltown and the Pil River, and further onto Carrick-on-Suir; it could also connect to the South Leinster Way, which passes through Piltown and on to Carrick-on-Suir through Tibbreaghny.
Trail Kilkenny Ltd. facilitates the development, management and promotion of a range of high quality leisure trails for the benefit of visitors and residents. It is made up of representatives from Kilkenny Leader Partnership, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Sports Partnership, local Elected Members and local land owners.
The grassed area along Strand Road which is bounded by a stone wall, facilitates views towards the River Suir from the adjacent roads; this area contributes significantly to the character and setting of the village, and is worthy of protection and sensitive treatment in any future proposals.
AS1 – To retain and protect the views to the River Suir from the R698 and Strand Road, and to retain the character of this area.
A long-term objective for the area is to facilitate the provision of a pathway and cycleway linkage between Fiddown and Piltown.
Works within the aforementioned areas should only be carried out in consultation with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Kilkenny County Council having regard designations in these areas as pNHA, cSAC and area of archaeological potential. Any proposals for development which could impact on the Lower River Suir cSAC directly or indirectly will require to at least be screened for Appropriate Assessment. Development shall not impinge on the quality of the river, either via pollution or restriction of access. Any development of open space requires a maintenance plan to ensure its upkeep.
- AS2 – To improve the appearance, amenity uses and ecological value of the existing amenity area at the Strand Road, and to provide quality open space to meet the needs of the existing and future population.
- AS3 – To protect the banks of the River Suir and to examine the possibility of developing a river walk along the bank, linking with the River Pil, in conjunction with the relevant statutory bodies and voluntary groups.
2.6.2 Amenity Enhancement – General Appearance
In general Fiddown retains a pleasant village setting, with a number of significant trees along the road south of the railway line and stone walls and historic buildings of note.
A long term objective for Fiddown would include utilising the strategic location of Meade’s Tavern and creating a focal point in the village, subject to funding and removal of parking from the front of the building.
Residents have indicated that there some areas which appear untidy and unmanaged in the village – such as near the beehive and at the Rathmore tunnel, some areas are in need of kerbing and new signage to define the entrances into the village would improve its visual appearance.
Efforts are being made to ensure the satisfactory completion of residential developments in the area in line with planning permissions granted. It is an objective of this plan to support and encourage works to enhance the appearance and visual amenities of Fiddown where resources permit.
Objective – AS4:
To support and encourage the enhancement of the visual appearance of Fiddown, subject to the availability of human and financial resources.
New developments shall be responsible for the under-grounding of utility cables associated with their development in the village.
There are some trees of amenity significance throughout the village and the retention of existing trees, hedgerows and stone walls and their incorporation into future developments will be considered to contribute to the overall ecological and amenity value of the village. Appropriate planting can be used to enhance the environment and additional planting would add to the amenity of the village; planting of native tree and hedgerows species will be required in new developments.
The Council joins with the business community, the Gardai, and local people in a partnership approach to dealing with the litter problem; this approach recognises that litter is everyone’s problem. A dedicated Local Authority staff member dedicates one day per week to litter management in Fiddown. The emphasis will continue to be on making all areas as litter-free as possible through the policy tools of partnership, education, awareness, enforcement and the provision of integrated street cleaning measures. The Environment Section liaises with many community and residents groups organising clean-ups during National Spring Clean every April, and offer assistance to Tidy Towns groups all year round by providing litter pickers, bags and gloves.
In general the built environment of Fiddown is in good condition and there are few poorly maintained buildings; there are currently no sites listed on the derelict sites register.
2.6.3 Community Facilities & Services
184.108.40.206 Services & Recreation
Fiddown is served by the commercial premises of Meade’s Toll Bridge Tavern public house, grocery store and Merry’s Garage.
The community of Fiddown use the facilities available in Piltown for many of their recreational needs, such as the hurling and soccer fields, and the Community centre, which caters for a number of uses. Piltown is well served by recreational facilities generally. In addition the Catholic and Church of Ireland churches are located on the Fiddown Road in Piltown. A children’s playground has recently been provided as part of the residential development of Kylemore.
The Fiddown area is served by the Piltown Garda station; the area will benefit from the increased number of Gardai to be stationed in Mooncoin, with 24 cover provided.
220.127.116.11 The Youth and Elderly
The youth are well catered for in terms of sports facilities provided at Piltown, but at present there is no ‘youth club’ not related to sport in either Fiddown or Piltown. It was noted from information gathered from public consultation that the numbers of new members getting involved in activities is low and the involvement of new residents is encourage in all community groups.
There is an Over Sixties Senior Citizens Club in Piltown catering for the more senior members of the community that meet regularly in the Piltown parish community centre.
AS5 – Work in partnership with youth services providers and the local community in the development of youth services.
It is the policy of the Council to facilitate the development by the Health Board Executive of a comprehensive range of health and social care services for the area.
Fiddown is served by the existing health centre in Piltown, which operates on a morning basis, with evening surgery in Carrick-on-Suir. The nearest hospitals and dentist services are provided in Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford. There are nursing homes located in Mooncoin, Portlaw and Carrick-on-Suir serving this area, and there is sheltered housing in Owning – Sue Ryder Homes – which offers suitable accommodation for the elderly.
AS6 – To facilitate and support the Health Services Executive in the provision of any health care services for the village.
According to the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Childcare Facilities – DoEHLG, 2001, “Government policy on childcare is to increase the number of childcare places and facilities available and to improve the quality of childcare services for the community”. Section 4.5.1 of the County Development Plan sets out the policies of Kilkenny County Council in relation to childcare provision. The Kilkenny Childcare Committee published their second strategy since their inception in 2002, which sets out the direction for the work of the committee. There is an existing childcare facility in Piltown, constructed as part of the Banagher Court residential development. The provision of quality childcare services will be facilitated and encouraged by the Council in suitable locations.
18.104.22.168 Education and Training
Fiddown is served by Piltown National School, which has an enrolment number of between 260 -270 pupils for the year 2010-2011. The school has 10 classrooms, with adequate grounds for expansion if the need arises. The car-park has been extended within the school grounds and traffic calming measures installed on approaches to the school, although there remains concerns relation to traffic safety at pick-up and drop-off periods.
The nearest secondary schools are located in Mooncoin and Carrick-on-Suir. There is a third level facility in Piltown, the Kildalton Agricultural College, which provides post Leaving Certificate qualifications in agriculture and agriculture-related areas.
AS7 -To co-operate with the Department of Education in the provision of an adequate number of school places to serve the needs of the village’s population and adequate facilities to serve Piltown National School and Mooncoin VEC.
Adult education classes are available in Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Waterford and Mooncoin.
Questions to consider for Amenities and Services
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