Creation of Community Space in Fore
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000 (as amended) (Part XI)
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, 2001 (as amended) (Part 8)
Creation of a Community Space in Fore, Co Westmeath.
Fore Village and its hinterland is designated by Westmeath County Council in its Development Plan as a Special Heritage Area. This results from the realisation of its exceptional historical and archaeological importance and the significant contribution which it can make towards the development of tourism within the county. The richness of the archaeological and historical remains of Fore Village, together with the attractive landscape in which they are set; mark this area out as one of national importance.
In the context of Ireland’s Ancient East, Fore is an important element attracting a large number of tourists to the Fore area and the development of a local heritage trail has greatly added to this.
The centre of the village has had no works carried out in recent times and presents an ideal opportunity to enhance the aesthetics and street facade of the core village and make it a more attractive place to visit, live, work and socialise.
Fore village is a Category 1 Village with population less than 5000 people. There are 2 pubs, a grocery store and 2 coffee shops operating in the village all of whom ae dependent on tourism, visitors, and local trade. The development of the public lighting to the existing walking trails and together with improvements to the street façade will make it a more vibrant community space providing increased footfall for local businesses, tourist attractions and walking trails.
The provision of public lighting to the walking trail and the creation of a community area in the middle of the village will create a safer and more accessible environment for visitors,
tourists and walkers.
- Location of works.
The site comprises the vehicular carriageway, footpaths and is a rural village located in the north of Westmeath.
3.Description and Project Elements
- Install public Lighting along the 5637
- Creation of a community space the heart of the village
- Construction of stone wall along the L1663 (Castlepollard Road)
- Road Surfacing
Over the past number of years Fore heritage Group have taken the lead in developing the tourist offering in the Fore Village area. This has included the development of a tourist trail, St Feichin’s Looped Walkway. In 2020, funding was granted under Town and Village Renewal to complete the pedestrian link from St. Feichin’s looped walk back to the village along the L5637 and this has been constructed in April 2021 along with provision for future public lighting.
This completed walking loop has already become very popular and so part of this application is to provide the public lights along the newly constructed footpath where ducting and Sleeves are already in place.
Install public Lighting along the 5637
The erection of street lighting along the side road (Civil works already complete).
There is a line of terraced properties fronting onto the L1663 in the heart of Fore village comprising 2 business premises. This project aims to create a community space by providing a high-quality paved area to the fronts of these properties. This area can be used as a safe delineated space where the local business can provide seating for customers, tourists, and visitors to the town. The paving will be in keeping with the historic appearance of the town and enhance the visual appearance of the area. This paved area will also provide a connection to the popular coffee shop further out the L1663 in direction of Castlepollard.
Construction of Stone wall
Again on the L1663 on in direction towards Castlepollard but on the left hand side there is an obvious disconnect where a 65 metre section of the existing historic stone wall is missing, right in the heart of the village and has become overgrown and unsightly. This project aims to reconstruct this missing section of wall in keeping with style the existing wall.
Surface approximately 450m of the road including road markings and ancillary works.
4. AA Preliminary Screening Conclusions
It is considered, given the nature, siting and scale of the proposed works, that a Stage 1 Screening for Appropriate Assessment, prepared by a suitably qualified person, was required to assist in determining whether the proposed development, in view of best scientific knowledge, is/is not likely to give rise to a significant effect, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, on a European Natura 2000 Site. The Stage 1 Screening Report should consider and detail the likely significant effects of the development works at both construction stage and project completion stage on the Natura 2000 network. This Stage 1 Screening for Appropriate Assessment has been carried out and is included as part of this application.
5. EIA Preliminary Screening Conclusion
It has been determined that there is no real likelihood of significant effects on the environment arising from the proposed development and an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required in this instance.
A suitable qualified Archaeologist has been appointed to carry out the following,
- Prepare an application/s for Ministerial Consent, to monitor the works, as and when appropriate, and prepare a report on the results of monitoring.
- On site Monitoring during the construction works.