Western Environs Sod Turning Ceremony, Monday 25th March 2019

Pictured performing the sod turning ceremony for the Kilkenny Western Environs Phase 1 Infrastructure Scheme are Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, Mr. John Paul Phelan TD, and Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Mr. Eamon Aylward. Also in attendance were staff and Elected Members of Kilkenny County Council, representatives of SIAC Construction Limited and Malone O'Regan Consulting Engineers, and members of Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board.

The scheme extends to 2.3km in length and includes for a new distributor road from the N76 Callan Road to the Circular Road at Robertshill, widening of the existing Circular Road from Robertshill to its junction with the Kilmanagh Road, and widening of the R695 Kilmanagh Road to Drakelands Nursing Home. The proposed road is single carriageway with footpaths and cycleways on both sides and public lighting throughout.

The scheme is being jointly funded to the tune of €13million by Kilkenny County Council, and the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) section of the Rebuilding Ireland programme, and is a critical element of the response by Local and National Government to the current housing crisis. Resulting from the investment in this scheme, it is expected that over the next 3-5 years approximately 600 new housing units will be provided in the area, with a total of over 3000 housing units in the long term. Also planned for the area served by the road are 3 schools (2 secondary and 1 primary), and a significant amount of social infrastructure.

Minister John Paul Phelan TD expressed his satisfaction that the realisation of the scheme will ensure the delivery in advance of all infrastructure necessary for the orderly development of the area and commended Kilkenny County Council on its successful LIHAF funding application.