9. Infrastructure and Environment

9   Infrastructure & Environment

Strategic Aim: To provide a framework for the protection of the environment, including water quality, the avoidance of flood risk and the provision of a high quality telecommunications infrastructure.

9.1   Water services

9.1.1   Achievements

During the period of the last plan, significant improvement works were carried out to water services infrastructure in the county, including to the following schemes:

  • Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme Phase 1A (Part of Mooncoin Regional Water Supply Scheme) - Completed 2010  
  • Kilmacow Wastewater Treatment Plant and Network - completed 2011
  • Thomastown Waste Water Treatment Plant - completed 2011
  • Gowran Waste Water Treatment Plant - completed 2010 
  • Tullaroan Waste Water Treatment Plant - completed 2011
  • Gowran Goresbridge Paulstown Water Supply Scheme access road and UV disinfection - completed 2011 
  • Coan Waste Water Treatment Plant - completed 2012
  • Kilkenny City Water Supply: Radestown Reservoir repair - completed 2012
  • Kilmaganny Waste Water Treatment Plant - completed 2012
  • The Water Conservation programme resulted in substantial benefits

9.1.2   Water Supply

There are 20 public water supply schemes within County Kilkenny operated by Kilkenny County Council, see the list below.  The quality of our drinking water supplies is of utmost importance.  Water quality is monitored on a daily basis in accordance with the EPA requirements.  This is done by the Council itself, by external laboratories on behalf of the Council and by the Health Service Executive and the EPA Regional Water Laboratory on an agency basis, on behalf of the Council.  *9.1.2 Water supply

The Council shall consult the EPA publication ‘The Provision and Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland’ (which is reviewed and published on a periodic basis) and the EPA’s ‘Remedial Action List’ in the establishment and maintenance of water sources in the County.


Scheme name




Castlecomer (Old)




Gowran Goresbridge Paulstown



Kilkenny City (Radestown)

Kilkenny city (Troyswood) Regional


Lois Na Si

Mooncoin Regional

New Ross WSS (Wexford County Council)


South Kilkenny


Urlingford - Johnstown


9.1.3   Water Conservation

Water supplies are a scarce and expensive resource.  A Water Conservation Programme is underway across the county at present.  The first stage of this project divided the water supply schemes into different zones and installed meters to establish where and how much water was being lost. The second stage is active leakage control, which includes detecting and repairing leaks. This process is a permanent feature of water conservation and will continue for the foreseeable future. The third stage is mains rehabilitation, which involves the replacement or rehabilitation of those mains deemed to be the source of most leakage.  This programme has reduced unaccounted for water (UFW) to less than 40%, and has resulted in improvements to overall levels of service.   The Council will continue to conserve valuable water supplies through the Water Conservation Programme. 


9.1.4   Waste water services

There are 35 public wastewater treatment schemes within the county, of varying size and complexity, see list below.


Settlement/ Name of plant

Level of treatment















Deerpark, Moneenroe
























Kilkenny City Purcellsinch


Kilkenny (Sion Road)










Ballygriffin, Mooncoin




New Ross (Environs)

Secondary (operated by Wexford County Council)




















9.1.5   Prioritisation of Investment

The areas to be prioritised for water services infrastructure investment are aligned to the County Settlement Strategy, ensuring that adequate water services are in place to cater for the county’s growth.   In addition the continued improvement and provision of this infrastructure is necessary to meet the requirements of the E.U. Urban Wastewater Treatment[1] and Water Framework[2] Directives. Prioritisation of investment is agreed with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, and is set out in the Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP) 2010-2013.  The Council will endeavour to extend water services to meet the expanding domestic, commercial and industrial needs of the County and to improve the provision of water services in those areas where deficiencies exist at present.     

The water supply schemes (WSS) to be prioritised for investment are as follows:

  • Inistioge/Thomastown WSS
  • Kilkenny City Regional WSS
  • Mooncoin Regional WSS
  • Gowran, Goresbridge Paulstown Regional WSS
  • Clogh/Castlecomer WSS

The waste water treatment plants (WWTP) to be prioritised for investment are as follows: 

  • Kilkenny City (Purcellsinch)
  • Freshford
  • Johnstown
  • Goresbridge
  • Paulstown (outfall)
  • Ballyhale
  • Urlingford
  • Stoneyford
  • Castlecomer
  • Piltown
  • Fiddown
  • Bennettsbridge
  • Mullinavat
  • Inistioge
  • Clogh Moneenroe

From 2014, Irish Water will be the new water authority with responsibility for prioritisation of investment. 


9.1.6   Water Services Objectives:


9.1.7   Sludge Treatment

A Sludge Management Plan for Kilkenny was prepared in 2003.  This Sludge Management Plan considered all forms of nonhazardous sludge arising and predicted to arise in the county over the next 20 years and proposed sustainable management strategies for them.  The Council will continue to implement the Sludge Management Plan and in accordance with this, all sludge being generated in the county is disposed of as fertiliser at present.  


9.2   Environment

9.2.1   Pollution Control

The importance of a clean environment for the economic and social life of the county is recognised. In this regard, continuous effective monitoring and enforcement in relation to pollution control measures is imperative and will continue over the period of this Plan.   Air Quality

The Council’s role in relation to air quality is mainly is to promote a reduction in air pollution, through the implementation of relevant legislation and through the provision of advice and guidance on best practice.  The Council also implements the provisions of the Air Pollution Act 1987 and Air Pollution (Licensing of Industrial Plant) Regulations 1988

9.2.2   Noise Mapping

In 2006, the Government made regulations relating to Environmental noise (S.I. 140 of 2006).  Environmental noise is defined in the Regulations as unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport, road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic, and from sites of industrial activity.   

The regulations require that a Noise Mapping Action Plan must refer to places near major roads, major railways and major airports, and within any relevant agglomeration.  A Noise Action Plan[3] was finalised for Kilkenny in 2009.  In Kilkenny the following areas are within the subject criteria of the Regulations:

  • Sections of the N9 in the Environs of Waterford City
  • Sections of the N10 in the Environs of Kilkenny City
  • Sections of the N25 in the Environs of Waterford City and New Ross
  • Sections of the N77 in the Environs of Kilkenny City

The Action Plan is designed with the twin aims of;

  • Avoiding significant adverse health impacts from noise and
  • Preserving environmental noise quality where it is good

This Noise Action Plan is being updated at present.   Noise control

Excessive noise and dust levels can have an adverse impact on the county’s environment. The Council will seek to minimise noise through the planning process by ensuring that the design of future developments incorporate measures to prevent or mitigate the transmission of noise and vibration, where appropriate.

9.2.3   Light Pollution

While adequate lighting is essential to a safe and secure environment, light spillage from excessive or poorly designed lighting is increasingly recognised as a potential nuisance to surrounding properties and a threat to wildlife, may pose a traffic hazard and can reduce the visibility of the night sky. Urban and rural locations can suffer equally from this problem.  Lighting columns and other fixtures can have a significant effect on the appearance of buildings and the environment.

9.2.4   Pollution Control Objective

To update Noise Mapping in accordance with revised or updated thresholds for Noise Mapping.


9.2.5   Pollution Control Development Management Standards

  • To ensure that developments which are subject to the requirements of the Air Pollution Act 1987 and Air Pollution (Licensing of Industrial Plant) Regulations 1988 or any subsequent regulations meet appropriate emission standards and other relevant national and international standards.
  • To seek to minimise noise and dust through the planning process by ensuring that the design of developments incorporate measures to prevent or mitigate the transmission of dust, noise and vibration, where appropriate. 
  • Ensure traffic noise levels are considered as part of all new developments along major roads/rail lines. 
  • To ensure that lighting is carefully and sensitively designed
  • To require that the design of external lighting minimises the incidence of light spillage or pollution into the surrounding environment.


9.2.6   Potentially Contaminated Land

Contaminated land is generally considered to be lands where there are substances which could cause significant harm to the environment and/or endanger health.  Examples of land uses that may have caused such contamination include gas works, landfill sites and scrap yards. 


9.2.7   Development Management Standards

Development will be encouraged and facilitated where it can be demonstrated that the development of the potentially contaminated site will result in a recreational and social benefit to the local area/community provided that identified remediation measures for the lands are carried out.  The Council will require that a detailed investigation is carried out and appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the land is treated properly before development takes place. 


9.2.8   Water Quality   Water Framework Directive

In response to the increasing threat of pollution and the increasing demand from the public for cleaner rivers, lakes and beaches, the EU developed the Water Framework Directive[4] (WFD).  The directive establishes a framework for the protection of all waters including rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters, groundwater, canals and other artificial water bodies for the benefit of everyone. The protection of water for wildlife and their habitats is also included under the directive.

Management of water resources must be planned and implemented, through Management Plans, in a way that achieves the best possible balance between the protection and improvement of the water environment and the interests of those who depend on it for their livelihood and quality of life.

For the purposes of implementing the WFD, Ireland has been divided into eight river basin districts that are drained by a large river or number of rivers.  County Kilkenny is located in the South Eastern River Basin District.  The South East River Basin Management Plan (Water Matters) 2009-2015 was published in 2010[5].  This sets out the standards and objectives for water quality in the river basin.  

The Council has responsibilities for the protection of all waters including rivers, lakes, estuarine waters and groundwater. The work includes implementation of pollution control measures, licensing of effluent discharges, implementing and monitoring compliance with environmental legislation, and drawing up pollution contingency measures. 

Eutrophication of waterways has been identified as a strategic challenge facing Ireland’s environment.  Eutrophication arises from excess inputs of nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) to waters leading to excessive plant growth, depletion of oxygen and habitat degradation. The major sources of nutrient loss to waters are agriculture and sewage discharges, with other sources also making a contribution. 

The Council will continue to take appropriate measures in relation to all development in order to prevent ground and surface water pollution and will implement the South Eastern River Basin Management Plan.   Groundwater

Groundwater is used to supply some water supply schemes, and is also used by a significant number of households in the county who are dependent on private wells.  A number of group schemes are also dependant on groundwater (aquifers).  Underground aquifers are exploited commercially for bottled water, which can be a significant economic resource.  Groundwater also contributes to the river system.

The Geological Survey of Ireland has completed a Groundwater Protection Scheme for County Kilkenny[6].  The overall aim of a Groundwater Protection Scheme is to preserve the quality of groundwater, for drinking water, surface water ecosystems and terrestrial ecosystems, for the benefit of present and future generations. The groundwater protection schemes are based on information provided by a suite of maps, including:

•             Groundwater protection zones, hydrogeological data

•             Aquifers

•             Vulnerability

•             Outcrop and depth to bedrock

•             Subsoils geology

•             Bedrock geology


The Groundwater Protection Scheme provides guidance for Kilkenny County Council in decision-making on the location, nature and control of developments and activities in order to protect groundwater.  The GSI will be updating the vulnerability mapping for the County in 2013.   Source Protection Areas

Groundwater sources, particularly for public, group scheme and industrial supplies, are of critical importance.  Consequently, Source Protection Areas are delineated around groundwater sources to provide protection by placing tighter controls on activities within those areas.  Source Protection Areas are divided into Inner Protection Areas and Outer Protection Areas.

Development within Source Protection Areas shall be subject to stringent requirements in accordance with the Groundwater Protection Scheme and the Water Services Acts 2007 & 2012.  Developments which include on-site wastewater treatment in Inner Source Protection Areas of Extreme Vulnerability shall be subject to strict Development Management standards.

In practical terms, protection of groundwater can be achieved through the encouragement of best practice in agricultural and industrial activities and through best practice in the installation and use of wastewater treatment systems.   Water Quality Objectives

  • To promote compliance with environmental standards and objectives established—
    • for bodies of surface water, by the European Communities (Surface Waters) Regulations 2009;
    • for groundwater, by the European Communities (Groundwater) Regulations 2010;

which standards and objectives are included in the South East River Basin Management Plan.

  • To complete the mapping of source protection areas and to map Source Protection Areas for any new public water supply schemes as appropriate. 
  • To ensure that Source Protection Areas are identified for any multiple unit housing developments with private water supplies.   Water Quality Development Management Standards

  • To assess all new applications for single houses in accordance with the EPA manual entitled Code of Practice – Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems serving Single Houses[7] (p.e. ≤ 10), also referred to as EPA 2009 or such guidance as may replace this guidance. The person carrying out the assessment will be suitably qualified and in the local authority’s opinion, be competent to do so.                                             
  • To ensure that all industrial development is appropriately located, to seek effluent reduction and 'clean production' where feasible, and require that waste water treatment facilities are adequate, and that effluents are treated and discharged in a satisfactory manner.
  • To have regard to the Groundwater Protection Scheme and the Water Services Acts 2007 & 2012 in decision-making on the location, nature and control of developments and activities in order to protect groundwater. 
  • New developments which include on-site wastewater treatment in an Extreme Vulnerability Inner Source Protection Area shall be restricted to the following categories:

1. A dwelling for a full-time farmer

2. An existing inhabited dwelling in need of replacement

3. A second family dwelling on a farm where this is required for management of the farm

Permission may be granted in the above instances subject to the following stipulations:

a)            That an alternative site outside the Extreme vulnerability Inner Protection Area is not available

b)            The existing water quality of the source is not subject to any significant nitrate and /or microbiological contamination. 


9.2.9   Flooding

Flooding is a natural phenomenon of the hydrological cycle.  There are many factors that influence flood behaviour and the degrees of risk that it possesses. Like other natural processes, flooding cannot be completely eliminated, but its impacts can be minimised with proactive and environmentally sustainable management. The accepted national policy response to flood protection is now to manage the risk to life and property as sustainably as possible and to consider flood risk and its related impacts on development on a catchment basis, rather than on an individual location basis.  This will facilitate sustainable development through the reduction of future flood damage, and hence reduce the associated potential economic and social costs.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland. The Planning System and Flood Risk Management – Guidelines for Planning Authorities were published in 2009 and these are incorporated here. 

The Guidelines outline three key principles that should be adopted by regional authorities, local authorities, developers and their agents when considering flood risk. These are:

  • Avoid the risk, where possible,
  • Substitute less vulnerable uses, where avoidance is not possible, and
  • Mitigate and manage the risk, where avoidance and substitution are not possible


Avoidance of development in flood risk areas

Flood zones are geographical areas within which the likelihood of flooding is in a particular range and they are a key tool in flood risk management within the planning process as well as in flood warning and emergency planning. There are three types or levels of flood zones defined for the purposes of the guidelines:

  • Flood zone A – where the probability of flooding is highest (greater than 1% or 1 in 100 for river flooding or 0.5% or 1 in 200 for coastal flooding) and where a wide range of receptors would be vulnerable;
  • Flood zone B – where the probability of flooding is moderate (between 0.1% or 1 in 1000 and 1% or 1 in 100 for river flooding and between 0.1% or 1 in 1000 year and 0.5% or 1 in 200 for coastal flooding); and
  • Flood zone C – where the probability of flooding is low (less than 0.1% or 1 in 1000 for both river and coastal flooding).

A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment has been carried out for the County as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment. This did not categorise the county into Flood Zones, but has identified areas within which development proposals shall be the subject of a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.  This FRA shall be appropriate to the type and scale of the development being proposed and shall be carried out in line with the Guidelines   Flood Management Objective

To adopt a comprehensive risk-based planning approach to flood management to prevent or minimise future flood risk. In accordance with the Guidelines, the avoidance of development in areas where flood risk has been identified shall be the primary response.   Development Management Standard

Where flood risk may be an issue for any proposed development, a flood risk assessment shall be carried out that is appropriate to the scale and nature of the development and the risks arising. This shall be undertaken in accordance with the Flood Risk Assessment Guidelines.

Proposals for mitigation and management of flood risk will only be considered where avoidance is not possible and where development can be clearly justified with the Guidelines’ Justification Test.


9.2.10   Surface Water Drainage

Surface water drainage systems are designed to channel stormwater (rainwater) to the nearest suitable river.  Rain falling on impervious surfaces is usually directed into surface water drainage systems.  Best practice is to separate the surface water drainage system from the foul drainage system to maximise the efficiency of our waste water treatment plants. 

Surface water drainage systems are effective at transferring surface water quickly, but they can cause the volume of water in the receiving watercourse to increase more rapidly thereby increasing flood risk.  Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can play a role in reducing and managing run-off to surface water drainage systems as well as improving water quality. 

9.2.11   Development Management Standards

  • Development must, so far as is reasonably practicable, incorporate the maximum provision to reduce the rate and quantity of runoff e.g.:-
    • Hard surface areas (car parks, etc.), should be constructed in permeable or semi-permeable materials,
    • On site storm water ponds to store and/or attenuate additional runoff from the development should be provided,
    • Soak-aways or french drains should be provided to increase infiltration and minimise additional runoff.
  • Individual developments shall be obliged, in all cases where surface water drainage measures are required, to provide a surface water drainage system separated from the foul drainage system.
  • In the case of one-off rural dwellings or extensions, except in circumstances where an existing surface water drainage system is available to the proposed site for development and which, in the opinion of the planning authority has adequate capacity to accommodate the identified surface water loading, surface water shall be disposed of, in its entirety within the curtilage of the development site by way of suitably sized soak holes. 
  • In the case of driveways, drainage measures shall be provided to a detail acceptable to the planning authority so as to avoid run-off from the site to the adjoining public road.
  • For all other green-field developments in general the limitation of surface water run-off to pre-development levels will be required.  Where a developer can clearly demonstrate that capacity exists to accommodate run-off levels in excess of green-field levels then the planning authority shall give consideration to such proposals on a case by case basis.
  • In the case of brown-field development, while existing surface water drainage measures will be taken into account, some attenuation measures for surface water may be required at the discretion of the planning authority in the interests of balanced and sustainable development.
  • In line with the above Kilkenny County Council will consider all drainage proposals consistent with SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems).
  • For developments adjacent to watercourses of a significant conveyance capacity any structures (including hard landscaping) must be set back from the edge of the watercourse to allow access for channel clearing/maintenance. A setback of 5m-10m is required depending on the width of the watercourse.  Development consisting of construction of embankments, wide bridge piers, or similar structures will not normally be permitted in or across flood plains or river channels.
  • All new development must be designed and constructed to meet the following minimum flood design standards:-
    • Where streams open drains or other watercourses are being culverted - the minimum permissible culvert diameter is 900mm. (Access should be provided for maintenance as appropriate.)
  • To give adequate allowance for climate change in designing surface water proposals a multiplication factor of 1.2 shall be applied to all river return periods up to 100 years except in circumstances where the OPW have provided advice specifying the particular multiplication factor for return periods up to 100 years.  In the case of rainfall a multiplication factor of 1.1 shall be applied to rainfall intensities to make allowance for climate change requirements.
  • In the design of surface water systems, regard shall be had to the Greater Dublin Regional Code of Practice for Drainage Works[8] and associated GDSDS technical documents.



9.2.12   Waste Management

Waste management in Ireland is regulated by the Waste Management Act, 1996 as amended.  The local authorities of Carlow County, Kilkenny County, Waterford City and County, Wexford County, and South Tipperary County have made a Joint Waste Management Plan for the South East region[9].

The JWMP was evaluated in 2012 and the outcome of that evaluation is that the Plan needs to be reviewed. The review will take place in 2013, under the new Regional structures where Kilkenny will form part of an expanded Southern Region.  The replacement plan will have regard to the national waste management policy as outlined in A Resource Opportunity, Waste Management Policy in Ireland[10]

Section 4 of the Waste Management Amendment Act 2001 provides that the Development Plan in force in an area shall be deemed to include the objectives contained in the waste management plan made by the local authority.  Therefore this plan is deemed to contain the policies and objectives of the Joint Regional Waste Management Plan, as replaced.   Waste Management Objective

To implement the Joint Waste Management Plan for the South East Region.   Waste Management Development Management Standards

To have regard to the waste produced by proposed developments including the nature and amount of waste produced and proposed method of disposal. 

  • Proposed apartment and housing developments in urban areas must be appropriately laid out to enable the implementation of three bin collection systems, see Chapter 12. 
  • Proposed apartment, housing and commercial developments must be either serviced by existing infrastructure or make appropriate provision for bring sites in their layout.  The sites shall be made available to the Council at the developer’s own expense and will be maintained by the Council or its agents.  Adequate access must be provided in developments to service proposed bring sites.
  • For significant construction/demolition projects, the developer shall include construction and demolition waste management plans, to be prepared in accordance with the Best Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and Demolition Projects[11].  These plans should seek to focus on waste minimisation in general and optimise waste prevention, re-use and recycling opportunities, and shall provide for the segregation of all construction wastes into recyclable, biodegradable and residual wastes.
  • For any development, the developer shall ensure that all operations at the site during the construction and demolition phase shall be managed and programmed in such a manner as to minimise waste production and that procedures are in place to deal with any litter arising.


9.2.13   Control of Major Accident Hazards Directive (Seveso II Directive)

The Major Accidents Directive[12] (known as the Seveso II Directive), seeks to reduce the risk and to limit the consequences to both man and the environment, of accidents at manufacturing and storage facilities involving dangerous substances. 

There are a total of three Seveso (Control of Major Accident Hazards Directive) sites in the county; Grassland Fertilisers (Kilkenny) Ltd. Palmerstown on the Tullaroan Road in Kilkenny City, Nitrofert Ltd, Raheen, near New Ross and Trans-Stock Warehousing and Cold Storage in Christendom, Ferrybank.  There are also two sites in close proximity to Co. Kilkenny, see list below. It should be noted that these are the only sites currently identified and that there may be additional sites designated in the future. 


Establishment Name    

Establishment Address

Grassland Fertilisers (Kilkenny) Ltd.

Palmerstown, Kilkenny City

Nitrofert Ltd.

Raheen, New Ross, Co. Kilkenny

Trans-Stock Warehousing and Cold Storage Ltd

Christendom, Ferrybank, Co. Kilkenny

Nearby sites:


Goulding Chemicals Ltd

Stokestown, New Ross, Co. Wexford

SSE Generation Ireland Ltd (Formerly Endesa Ireland Ltd) Great Island Generating Station

Campile, New Ross, Co. Wexford

Article 12 of the Directive provides that appropriate consultation procedures must be put in place so as to ensure that, before decisions are taken, technical advice is available to Planning Authorities in respect of relevant establishments. The Health and Safety Authority (or the National Authority for Occupational Health and Safety NAOSH) provides such advice where appropriate in respect of planning applications within a certain distance of the perimeter of these sites.   Seveso Objective

To control the following for the purposes of reducing the risk or limiting the consequences of a major accident:

• The siting of Major Accident Hazard sites

• The modification of an existing Major Accident Hazard site

• Development in the vicinity of a Major Accident Hazard site   Seveso Development Management Standards

The Councils will consult with the Health & Safety Authority when assessing proposals for development of, in or near sites which are identified under the COMAH (Seveso II) Directive.

9.2.14   Fire Service

The County Council is the Fire Authority for Kilkenny City and County. There are stations located in Kilkenny City, Freshford, Castlecomer, Urlingford, Graiguenamanagh, Thomastown and Callan.  The Council will upgrade and replace fire stations and replace and provide new equipment and vehicles as the need arises.

9.3   Energy

The availability of energy is of critical importance to facilitate new development. 


9.3.1   The National Transmission/Distribution network

The existing transmission network in County Kilkenny comprises mostly 110 kilovolt (kV) circuits and one 220 kV circuit in the south of the county.  There is one transmission substation, Kilkenny, which is served by two 110 kV overhead lines.  Kilkenny County Council recognises the need to increase electrical infrastructure. 

Grid25[13] is the national programme being rolled out by Eirgrid, the state owned independent transmission operator.  Two projects are being developed by Eirgrid, in or affecting Kilkenny as follows;

  • the Laois–Kilkenny Reinforcement Project to increase the quality and security of supply to an area which includes Counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Laois, and
  • Grid Link, which will link Cork and Kildare via Great Island in Wexford with a 400 kV line.  

Other new projects may arise also to facilitate electricity demand growth and the connection of new electricity generation projects. 


9.3.2   Grid Development Management Standards

Kilkenny County Council will facilitate the provision of energy networks in principle, provided that it can be demonstrated that –

  • the development is required in order to facilitate the provision or retention of significant economic or social infrastructure;
  • the route proposed has been identified with due consideration for social, environmental and cultural impacts;
  • the design is such that will achieve least environmental impact consistent with not incurring excessive cost;
  • where impacts are inevitable, mitigation features have been included;

In considering facilities of this nature that traverse a number of counties or that traverse one county in order to serve another, the Council will consider the proposal in light of the criteria outlined above. The Council will also treat the proposal as if it were required to service a development within Kilkenny County Council. 

9.3.3   Gas

Kilkenny City and Ferrybank are the only locations in the County served by the natural gas network.  Subject to appropriate commercial and technical evaluation, Kilkenny County Council will support an extension of the gas network to Belview and will support its extension to other significant population centres in the county.


9.4   Telecommunications

The Council recognises the importance of advanced communications infrastructure for an information-based society, and as a key support for business, education and research.  The Council will support and facilitate the provision of advanced communication networks and services to the extent required to contribute to national, regional and local competitiveness and attract inward investment.  The Council will also encourage the further co-ordinated and focused development and extension of telecommunications infrastructure including broadband connectivity in the county, particularly in the District Towns, as a means of improving economic competitiveness.

9.4.1   Broadband

The implementation of broadband is under the remit of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.  In 2012, the Department published a national broadband plan entitled “Delivering a Connected Society: A National Broadband Plan for Ireland[14]This identified high speed broadband connectivity as a core to competitiveness and has set out targets for achieving higher speeds. 

Three regional broadband schemes have been rolled out to advance broadband connectivity across the country:

National Broadband Scheme

This scheme ran from 2008 to 2010.  The objective of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) was to deliver broadband to certain target areas in Ireland in which broadband services were deemed to be insufficient. Under the contract, the successful tenderer, ‘3’, were required to provide services to all premises in the NBS area who sought a service. In order to facilitate competition in the area, ‘3’ were also required to provide wholesale access to any other authorised operator who wishes to serve premises in the NBS area.  The rollout of the provision of NBS services was completed in October 2010. The map below illustrates the 33 designated NBS Electoral Divisions in Co. Kilkenny[15]

Rural Broadband Scheme

The Rural Broadband Scheme was established to enable a basic broadband service to be provided to individual rural premises which were not capable of obtaining a broadband service from existing internet service providers. The Scheme aimed to identify the premises that could not obtain a service and once all of these premises were identified, to ascertain whether existing telecommunications operators could provide a service directly to these premises. The application phase of the Rural Broadband Scheme closed on 29th July 2011.

The third programme is the broadband to schools initiative. Its aim is to equip second-level schools in Ireland with 100 Mbps of broadband connectivity and Local Area Networks (LAN) on a phased basis. The initial pilot phase of this project has been completed and delivered to 78 schools throughout the country. Under this programme all second-level schools will have 100Mbps broadband installed by the end of 2014. The roll out of broadband to schools in County Kilkenny is currently underway.   Metropolitan Area Networks

The Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a network of ducting and fibre optic cable laid within a metropolitan area which can be used by a variety of businesses and organisations to provide services including but not limited to telecoms, Internet access, television, telematics and CCTV.

The MANs are publicly owned, while allowing all telecommunication operators open access to the networks.  They are fibre-based and technology neutral resilient networks, which will ensure adequate capacity for generations to come.  To date, Kilkenny City, Waterford and Thomastown have been included in the MANs. 

Objective: To facilitate the delivery of high quality broadband to the District Towns in the county.


Broadband Development Management Standards

  • To support the installation of carrier neutral ducting during significant public infrastructure works such as roads, water and sewerage, where feasible.
  • To ensure development proposals include the provision of carrier neutral ducting for fibre based data services and in particular broadband services, as appropriate. 
  • Ensure the provision for development in connection with telecommunications is made in ways which will maximise the use of existing masts and sites so as to limit the impact of development.


9.4.2   Telecommunications Antennae

The Council recognises the importance of a high quality telecommunications service and will seek to achieve a balance between facilitating the provision of telecommunications services in the interests of social and economic progress and sustaining residential amenities and environmental quality.   Telecommunications Antennae Development Management Standards

When considering proposals for telecommunications masts, antennae and ancillary equipment, the Council will have regard to the following:

  1. the visual impact of the proposed equipment on the natural or built environment, particularly in areas of sensitive landscape or historic importance;
  2. the potential for co-location of equipment on existing masts; and
  3. Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures - Guidelines for Planning Authorities[16] and Circular Letter PL 07/12[17].

The Council will discourage proposals for telecommunications masts, antennae and ancillary equipment in the following locations, save in exceptional circumstances where it can be established that there would be no negative impact on the surrounding area and that no other location can be identified which would provide adequate telecommunication cover:

(i)            Highly scenic areas or areas specified as such in the landscape character assessment, such as Mount Brandon and the River Valleys;

(ii)           In close proximity to schools, churches, crèches, community buildings, other public and amenity/conservation areas; and,

(iii)          In close proximity to residential areas.

In the assessment of individual proposals, the Council will also take the impact on rights of way and walking routes into account.

The Council will encourage co-location of antennae on existing support structures and to require documentary evidence as to the non-availability of this option in proposals for new structures. The shared use of existing structures will be required where the numbers of masts located in any single area is considered to have an excessive concentration.

Proposals within the County for telecommunications antennae and support structures must show:

  1. the alternative sites considered and why the alternatives were unsuitable,
  2. the number of existing masts within the County,
  3. the long term plans of the developer in the County and the potential for further masts,
  4. and the plans of other promoters and any  prior consultations which the developer may have had with other mast owners.   Telecommunications Antennae Objective 

To set up and maintain a register of approved telecommunications structures which will provide a useful input to the assessment of future telecommunications developments and would also be useful from the point of view of maximising the potential for future mast sharing and co-location. 


[3] Kilkenny County and Borough Councils, Noise Action Plan 2008, 2009

[5] South Eastern River Basin District, South East River Basin Management Plan (Water Matters) 2009-2015, 2010

[8][8] Greater Dublin Local Authorities, Greater Dublin Regional Code of Practice for Drainage Works, 2006

[9] South East Region Local Authorities, Joint Waste Management Plan for the South East region, 2006

[10] Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, A Resource Opportunity, Waste Management Policy in Ireland, 2012

[12] EU, Major Accidents Directive (96/82/EC), 1996

[14] Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Delivering a Connected Society: A National Broadband Plan for Ireland, 2012

[16] Department of the Environment and Local Government Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures - Guidelines for Planning Authorities, 1996


[17] Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Circular Letter PL 07/12, 2012


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