Clifton Scannell Emerson Associates (CSEA) was appointed by Kilkenny County Council to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an extension to the Northern Ring Road which includes a major crossing o f the Nore river including 500m of the flood plain.
The main issues addressed included:
- Impact on Ecology and Natura Impact assessment as the route crossed protected areas including Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Area of Protection (SPA) and a Natural Heritage Area (NHA)
- Hydrological Impact due to the major river crossing and potential impact on the flood plain. A detailed hydraulic model of a 7km stretch of the river Nore incorporating the Kilkenny flood Relief Scheme model
- Extensive flood monitoring was undertaken and a flood warning system installed as an additional element of CSEA's appointment
- Traffic Impact Assessment. The Kilkenny City SATURN model was updated from 2006 to 2013 to model the impacts
- Archaeological desktop study
- Assessment of the impact on air quality and the impact of resulting noise emissions
- A cost benefit analysis was also undertaken to demonstrate the need for the scheme. This was based on data from the SATURN model and was undertaken in accordance with the National Road Authority's approved methodology
Extensive consultation was undertaken with stakeholders and statutory consultees during the preparation of the EIS. This included Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the Office of Public Works (OPW), the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) amongst others.
The scheme has been approved by the local authority under the Part 8 planning process and is currently proceeding through the statutory Compulsory Purchase process.