2.7 Amenity Enhancement, Open Space & Tourism
2.7.1 General Appearance
In general Piltown retains a pleasant setting – with a number of buildings of architectural merit, stone walls such as those along Hillcrest Aveune and towards the Rectory, and landscaping carried out by local residents, FAS and ‘Keep Kilkenny Beautiful’. These combine to give Piltown a unique and attractive character.
The Council’s Planning Enforcement Section are working to ensure the satisfactory completion of residential developments in the area in line with planning permissions granted. it remains an objective of this plan to support and encourage works to enhance the appearance and visual amenities of Piltown where resources permit.
Objective – A1
To support and encourage the enhancement of the visual appearance of Piltown, 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.
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 Piltown; 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 Piltown. 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 Piltown is in good condition and there are few poorly maintained buildings. The Town Renewal Scheme 2000-2004encourgaged the re-development of a number of derelict sites in the town.
the main areas of dereliction relate to the properties of Foyles Garage, a house on Main Street and the site of the former Industrial Building on Creamery Road. Foyles garage and the house are listed on the Derelict Sites Register, and the Industrial Building is a protected structure; it is a policy of this plan to take steps to encourage the appropriate maintenance of these properties. Development of these sites for appropriate enterprise or amenity uses is encouraged.
A2 To encourage the maintenance of derelict sites in order to retain and improve the amenity values of Piltown.
2.7.5 Open Space
The main areas of open space in Piltown are those associated with existing residential developments. In addition small landscaped areas with seating have been created at the River Pil north of Wilmount House and also to the rear of St. Mary’s Church. Allotments have been created opposite St. Mary’s Church.
Piltown benefits from its proximity and relationship with Kildalton College, the extensive grounds of which are open to the public, and include walkways, a woodland, and lake. Access to the grounds is via gateways at the eastern end of Main Street to the north of St. Paul’s Church of Ireland Church and also to the north of the village, opposite Belline Terrace.
It has been suggested through public consultation that a focal point and park would be of benefit to the area; a number of areas highlighted in this plan for a playground (section <>) would also be suitable for the development of a small park – in particular the field to the east of Centra, which is in private ownership.
2.7.6 River Walk & Tourism Potential
The amenity potential of the Pil River is under-utilised and opportunities exist for the development of this amenity for recreational purposes for the local community and as an amenity for tourists. A linear walk and amenity areas could be developed along the length of the river; much of the land adjacent to the river has been zoned for the provision of open space and increased access to areas along the river is encouraged.
The Piltown Local Area Plan 2003 identified the benefits of developing a linked walk along the Pil River to connect with the River Suir and to Fiddown, and also for a footpath link between the two settlements. This walk has not been developed to date, and it remains a long-term objective for the area to develop a pedestrian and cycleway link, and river walk between Piltown and Fiddown. Proposals should seek to improve the quality of ‘buffer’ areas by restoring riparian woodland or wetland habitats close to the river.
A3 – It is the policy of the Council to facilitate and support the development of Piltown to encourage uses that are beneficial to the local community and development of tourism in the area.
The tidal section of the Pil River to the south of the bridge on Main Street is within the designated Special Area of Conservation of the Lower River Suir, and the east and west branches of the Pil River form and ecological network to the SAC.
Any work carried out in the vicinity of the river should only be carried out in consultation with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Kilkenny County Council having regard to the designations in the area. 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.
Piltown’s location close to Waterford and in the Suir river valley endows it with much tourism potential. There are a number of feature structures in the town, including Anthony’s Inn, Bessborough House – now Kildalton College, Piltown Tower and the two Churches. This tourist potential could be harnessed in conjunction with developing the amenity opportunities offer by the Pil River and River Suir.
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. Kilkenny County Enterprise Board also provide information and advice in relation to starting your own business and advice on how to manage and grow your own business.
Barrow-Nore-Suir Rural Development group encompass the LEADER + and National Rural Development Programme (NRDP); under these programmes grant-aid is available to small enterprises, individuals with a business project and to community groups with either a business or a community beneficial project, if they meet the programmes rural development criteria. Both programmes provide part-funding so applicants are expected to fund a percentage of any project themselves.
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 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.
Objective – A4
It is an objective of the plan to protect the banks of the Pil River and a long-term objective to examine the possibility of developing a river walk along the bank to link with the River Suir, in conjunction with the relevant statutory bodies and voluntary groups.
Questions to consider for Amenity Enhancement, Open Space and Tourism
Do you agree with this approach, if so, why?
Do you disagree with this approach, if so, why?
What would you like to change?
Are there any other issues that you feel should be considered?
Please submit your answers to these questions or add your comments using the comment box below.
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