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Kilkenny Inner Relief Road

This topic contains 23 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 5 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 24 total)
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  • #710261

    notjim
    Participant

    I spent two days in Kilkenny this week and was completely thrilled by the obviously medieval street plan, more than any other Irish town I felt I could distantly experience a medieval sensibility, a weird and beautiful feeling of touch the strangeness, the alien oddness, of the historical deep past. Talking to people it was the thing I had to say in praise of Kilkenny. I am shocked to learn in today’s Times that part of this threatened by an inner relief road. Have we learned nothing?

    from the Times letter page:

    Madam, – We, the undersigned, wish to put on record our profound dismay at the proposal by Kilkenny local authorities to construct an inner relief road through the heart of Ireland’s only intact medieval city and a place of international importance.

    In its present form this proposed road will have a devastating impact on the historic centre of the city. Quite apart from bringing heavy goods vehicles into the core of Kilkenny, it will entail the destruction of much ancient fabric of the city, both upstanding and buried.

    It will cut off the 13th-century St Canice’s Cathedral and its earlier precinct from the rest of the city, and it will rupture the street pattern of Dean Street/Vicar Street, which preserves the curve of the cathedral’s ancient monastic enclosure, dating from the pre-Norman period.

    It will eradicate medieval burgage plots, lanes and garden archaeology to the rear of Vicar Street, and it will irreparably alter the street plan in the historic Irishtown area, the oldest part of Kilkenny. Furthermore, the construction of a new cable-stay bridge about 100 metres downstream from Green’s Bridge endangers the supposedly protected setting of this fine Palladian bridge.

    The inner relief road proposal was put forward as long ago as 1978 and is typical of the intrusive and destructive road schemes of that period, so often now bitterly regretted.

    Despite the destruction of one medieval street during preliminary work for this scheme in 1980, Kilkenny retains much of its historic cityscape, especially from the medieval period. This proposal flagrantly disregards the strenuous efforts that are now being made throughout Europe to keep traffic out of historic city centres.

    We urge An Bord Pleanála to reject this scheme at its forthcoming meeting on December 1st and Kilkenny local authorities to favour instead a revised option to the north of the city, where through traffic can be more appropriately routed and prevented from inflicting further damage on this historic city. – Yours, etc,

    Prof MICHELLE P. BROWN, University of London;

    PETER BURMAN, Visiting Professor, Cultural Management, World Heritage Studies, Cottbus, Germany;

    Prof PAUL CROSSLEY, Prof ERIC FERNIE, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London;

    Dr UTE ENGEL, Centre of Intercultural Studies, University of Mainz, Germany;

    Prof PETER FERGUSSON, Department of Art, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA;

    PAUL GOSLING, Department of Humanities, Galway-Mayo Institute

    of Technology;

    Dr JANE HAWKES, Department of Art History, University of York;

    T.A.HESLOP, School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia;

    Dr RACHEL MOSS, Department of History of Art, Trinity College Dublin;

    Prof LAWRENCE NEES, Department of Art History, University of Delaware;

    Dr NANCY NETZER, Director, McMullan Museum of Art and Professor of Art History, Boston College, Boston;

    Dr ELIZABETH O’BRIEN, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, UCD;

    Prof DÁIBHÍ Ó CRÓINÍN, Department of History, NUI Galway;

    Prof ALISTAIR ROWAN, University of Cork;

    Prof ROGER STALLEY, Trinity College Dublin;

    VIRGINIA TEEHAN, Director, The Hunt Museum, Limerick;

    Prof JOHN WADDELL, Department of Archaeology, NUI, Galway;

    Prof CHRISTOPHER WILSON, Emeritus Professor, University College London;

    SUSAN MAYBURY YOUNGS; Dr RICHARD GEM; PETER DRAPER, President, British Archaeological Association; Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London; Royston, Hertfordhire, England.

    #804787

    Anonymous

    ugh… as a one-time resident of an area (albeit average suburbia) obliterated by a road scheme, I hope to God the Bord have the foresighht to trash this. What decade of what century are these planners and engineers living in? Look what it did to Sligo – cut a swathe through the place and sever the city entirely… it’s nonsense

    #804788

    Anonymous

    Was ABP responsible for the Athy Inner Relief Road decision? Because that might give one hope.

    #804789

    Anonymous

    This is so disappointing to hear. We seem to have so little ability to learn lesson from past mistakes. Good letter and a good collection of signatures. Fair play to them.

    #804790

    Anonymous

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    Was ABP responsible for the Athy Inner Relief Road decision? Because that might give one hope.

    An BP was responsible for the shoot-down – so you would think that would be the end of it, wouldn’t you? But….(see below)

    What is this – a rush to see who can wreck their historic town centre the quickest? The Kilkenny road has absolutely no justification whatsosever – KK is already getting bypassed by the massive waste of resources that is the M9 Dublin – Waterford motorway.

    I really, really, really wish the idiots proposing this scheme would be made spend 12 hours as a pedestrian at the High Street/Patrick St/Christ Church junction in Dublin…

    They will destroy KK city if they push this ahead – does anybody else find that this would even be mooted in the city that houses the Heritage Council hq is a bloody awful indictment of the regression of standards that have occurred during recent years?

    The rot started at the very top – slashing the heritage/ conservation sectors and legislation, Cullen appointing a chief state archaeologist who had never directed even one dig, etc… Bertie, where are you now when we need you :rolleyes::mad:

    Kildare Nationalist

    Thursday, March 27, 2008 :

    Athy’s inner relief road stays on council agenda

    ATHY’S inner relief street is alive and well despite an attempt at last week’s meeting of Athy Town Council to have plans for the controversial stretch of roadway removed from the town’s current development plan. A joint motion by Fianna Fáil cllrs Frank English and Mark Dalton calling on the town council to start the process of removing the inner relief street from the Athy development plan 2006-2012 was meet with stiff opposition from the seven other councillors present at the meeting.

    In 2005, Kildare County Council (KCC) was refused permission by An Bord Pleanála to construct the proposed 1km route, claiming that it would fail both as a street and as a relief road. An attempt by KCC to seek a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision subsequently failed in the High Court. But despite these decisions, the inner relief road stayed in the town’s current development plan.

    This last-ditch attempt by cllrs English and Dalton called on the town council to “com-mence the process of the variation of the town development plan for the process of the removal of objective M1, due to its negative impact on a number of town centre develop-ments”.

    Opening the debate, cllr Dalton said the inclusion of the 1km stretch of road in the development plan is not just having negative impact on current planning applications for town centre developments but is also causing a host of difficulties for the developers involved in these developments. “I would hate to think that something that is never going to happen could prevent something that is going to happen in the town,” said cllr Dalton.

    Reiterating his party colleague’s argument, cllr English said the reason for raising the issue was due to the negative impact the road was having on planning applications for town centre developments such as the Abbey Development and a development being proposed for the back of Leinster Street.

    Opposing the motion, cllr Richard Daly (FG) described the inner relief road as a divisive issue and added that any decision on its future should be left until the review of the development plan set to take place next year. Cllr Aoife Breslin (Lab), who is also in favour of the inner relief road, said: “My stance on this is very clear and I will not be supporting it.” Her party colleague, cllr John Lawler (Lab) said the inner relief road should not be used as an excuse for turning down developments in the centre of the town and disagreed with the proposal.

    Cllr Paddy Wright (SF) left no doubt in his colleagues’ minds that he, too, was vehemently against the proposal from cllrs English and Dalton. “I’m absolutely opposing it. It is of paramount importance to this town. It is in the best interest of the town that it is in the development plan.”

    Cllr Mary O’Sullivan (FG) said: “For all the obvious reasons, I am too opposing it.”

    Cathaoirleach of the town council, Sean Cunnane (FG), who has been against the construction of the road, said he is not convinced the proposed route is having any negative impact on development in the town and said he would not be supporting the motion. Less than an hour in the seat, the town council’s newest member, cllr Tony Egan, also voted against the motion.

    Adding his voice to the debate, acting town manager Gerry Halton said the county manager Michael Malone would certainly disagree with cllr English and cllr Dalton’s proposal. Having the final say on the matter, cllr Dalton reiterated the Fianna Fáil party’s line that the inclusion of the inner relief road in the current development plan is curtailing development in the town and added: “We make no apology for that.”

    #804791

    Anonymous

    those that oppose it are not even opposing for the right bloody reasons. What a shucking fambles

    #804792

    admin
    Keymaster

    Athy is well documented; personally if the locals want to wreck the place let them its their not very special town; good luck to them getting funding to do so in the current medical card free climate

    Kilkenny is more serious it is a genuine Medieval town of world importance and after Galway the best decent scale weekend destination in the country. Again funding comes into play two choices build a destructive road predicated on people’s irritance with now yarded cement trucks or counter the following

    UK visitors down 17% in September
    Wednesday, 19 November 2008 11:51
    Overseas trips to Ireland fell by 10.8% in September 2008 compared to the same time last year with a 17% fall in the number of visitors from the UK accounting for much of the decrease.

    The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show that trips from other European countries and North America were also lower in September.

    The CSO says that Irish residents made a total of 726,300 overseas trips in September, which was down slightly from the same time last year. This was in contrast to an increase of 14.5% in September 2007 compared to September 2006.

    AdvertisementToday’s figures also reveal that in the first nine months of 2008, the number of overseas trips by Irish people rose by 4.4% to a total of 6,241,600 compared to the same time last year. However, the number of trips taken to Ireland fell by just over 1% to 6,174,000.

    Advertise gems like Kilkenny media buy is cheap right now; Ryanair and Aer Lingus a bit like cement companies have a large proportion of their fleet grounded

    Please move to Ireland forum

    #804793

    Anonymous

    @PVC King wrote:

    Kilkenny is more serious it is a genuine Medieval town of world importance and after Galway the best decent scale weekend destination in the country.
    Advertise gems like Kilkenny… now

    Agree totally.

    #804794

    Anonymous

    What they propose to do here sounds appalling. It’s gonna be a repeat of what they did throughout Dublin City Centre which destroyed the old Medieval street formats too.

    #804795

    Anonymous

    @PVC King wrote:

    Please move to Ireland forum

    Yes, sorry about that!

    #804796

    Anonymous

    The mayor of Kilkenny was on Pat Kenny this morning in support of this; incredible upside-down arguments like: ‘the road reinforces the medieval city because it allows people to come in to the centre’.

    #804797

    admin
    Keymaster

    I always thought the purpose of a medieval City was to keep people out rather than allow unimpeded access; take names like London Wall, Aldgate, Bishopsgate. To anyone who has studied Medieval street patterns it is clear that the market square was at the centre and that single use districts for the various guilds radiated outwards depending on their individual importance. This continued to the walls from where wide open roads allowed carts to go onwards.

    To claim that a medieval city could in any way be reinforced by a wide fast open road displays a complete lack of understanding of two things; firstly what makes urban spaces of any style or period attractive and secondly what attracts tourists.

    Kilkenny attracts tourists in large numbers because it is a very pleasant safe place with a lot of character and some great historical buildings. To build a road through the town would remove the intimate street grain and make the town a lot less attractive to tourists on the basis of it no longer being a special medieval place.

    Tourists don’t care about the last 10 minutes of traffic from the ring road in or the extra 5 minutes in a taxi from the station as it is a tiny proportion of their overall journey which probably involves a train to an airport, 2 hours checking in, 1- 3 hours flight time, 1 hour to get off the M50 and 1.5 hours to the ring road.

    This is a very bad plan and is especially obscene in the context of some people being denied medical cards.

    #804798

    Anonymous

    This is simply incredible. Like notjim, I’ve just returned from Kilkenny and was too enchanted by its medieval character and later vernacular charm. I just cannot fathom how any sane individual could consider this development as being beneficial to the city. As things stand, Dean Street/Vicar Street presents a hostile environment to the pedestrian, while chopping off the connection with St. Canice’s and its intimate cathedral close. To not only propose avoiding improving this problem by creating greater connectivity with the city core, or indeed to propose keeping things as they are, is bad enough, but to actually suggest a fully fledged relief road crashing its way along the route, through burgage plots and out over the river simply beggars belief! To me as an outsider, effectively a tourist, it would be offensive in the extreme, so to a citizen of the city with a knowledge of the wider nuaces of this on the historic heart of Kilkenny, it must be absolutely outrageous. Why are we not learning?!

    Just some late autumnal images of the city.

    Sadly there was little of contemporary merit worth photographing. The area flanking the river around the castle is grossly underutilised as a surface car park and small surpermerket-cum-arcade so typical of the backlands behind the main streets of Irish towns. Much still needs to be done around here.

    The exterior of the new shopping centre beside the railway station is attractive enough in parts (not this part!), but the interior woeful, and the complex completely detached from the city. Typically ridiculous, nonsensical marketing.

    While the adjacent land which addresses the town appears to be of more value as a surface car park than an actual new street.

    The town proper is more heartening, if the medieval elements pleasantly Victorianised somewhat.

    Quirky.

    One of the most gracious concrete bridges in Ireland.

    St. Mary’s Cathedral. A breathtakingly dramatic site.

    The vast potential civic square across the road is used as a vast public car park. A grave disappointment once you reach the top of the hill.

    Without intending to encourage nefarious goings-on, if anyone wants a bale or two of pristine Victorian slates, there’s plenty to chose from in the grounds of St. Canice’s, completely unsecured. (this was late in the evening). Quite extraordinary.

    Somebody in charge please take note.

    #804799

    Anonymous

    Oh, and a relief route would also rid the city of other charming scenes!

    All together now…

    ahhhhhhh

    #804800

    Anonymous

    @PVC King wrote:

    I
    Kilkenny attracts tourists in large numbers because it is a very pleasant safe place with a lot of character and some great historical buildings. To build a road through the town would remove the intimate street grain and make the town a lot less attractive to tourists on the basis of it no longer being a special medieval place.

    Tourists don’t care about the last 10 minutes of traffic from the ring road in or the extra 5 minutes in a taxi from the station as it is a tiny proportion of their overall journey which probably involves a train to an airport, 2 hours checking in, 1- 3 hours flight time, 1 hour to get off the M50 and 1.5 hours to the ring road.

    While i agree with all of the sentiments expressed here, I think it’s high time we removed tourists from these debates – it’s what really annoys me about the public transport debate in Dublin when people throw their eyes to heaven and wring their hands about poor tourists queuing for a taxi at the Airport. I don’t care what the tourists think of Kilkenny. This plan will hack and hack again at the quality of life for the residents of yet another Irish city. It’s time we planned for ourselves, what do we want, not what others think, let’s not ape UK mistakes and let’s accept our differences to continental Europe. What’s best for Irish people living in Ireland….

    (not accusing you of this PVC obviously but I thought i’d use your quote as an opportunity to throw this element in, given that it’s clearly seen as important for Kilkenny)

    #804801

    Anonymous

    alonso: I think we all agree with you, but feel that mentioning tourists is important so as to avoid being countered with a “you can’t eat a medieval street plan” argument when, in Kilkenny’s case, that is exactly what they do dine off, they don’t even have an IT as an alternative, just, for now, a few important food company head quarters. It would be nice to win using the more noble and correct argument for conservation, but no one has confidence in winning that way.

    #804802

    Anonymous

    Yep. Fair point. Use all we can to stop these developments occurring I guess. It;s such a shame that this argument persevered through an era of full employment and wealth – now that it’s gone tits up again, this “conservation won’t bring jobs” “we need a new road for the local economy” type of argument will really gather momentum. God help us all….

    #804803

    Anonymous

    Also, damaging the city like this also damages it’s appeal to tourists.

    #804804

    Anonymous

    Even accepting Dublin’s inflated sense of its own importance, I can’t understand why this thread is in the Dublin section.

    #804805

    Anonymous

    @shanekeane wrote:

    Even accepting Dublin’s inflated sense of its own importance, I can’t understand why this thread is in the Dublin section.

    That was just a meaningless mistake on my part shanekeane, my habits here were formed before the sub-forums where introduced, so I clicked the new thread button without looking to see which section I was in; I assume Paul will fix it at some point. Nothing sinister. I did already apologize above.

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