The Connemara Greenway Project – Clifden to Oughterard is a community driven project by local community groups in Clifden, Recess and Oughterard with support from Fáilte Ireland, Galway County Council and Forum Connemara Ltd. The project comprises the development of a walking/cycle track (Greenway) along the dismantled Galway to Clifden railway line from Oughterard to Clifden.
RPS was appointed by Galway County Council to prepare the constraints study, invasive species surveys, Screening for AA, NIS and EIA for the project. The Connemara Greenway comprises the routing of a linear project through an extremely environmentally sensitive area in the West of Ireland, running almost entirely through European Sites (SACs, SPAs). It required extensive site survey and assessment of impacts to sensitive habitats and species. The project also required public consultation and a considerable level of consultation by RPS with the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
RPS prepared the planning application which was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in May 2012 for consent and an Oral Hearing was held in December 2012, during which RPS proved expert witness evidence. Consent was granted in March 2013.
Due to our considerable knowledge of the project and the sensitivities of the receiving environment, RPS is currently commissioned by Galway County Council to provide the Ecological Clerk of Works role during the construction stage of this project.