New plan for Parade Ground area of Arklow is unveiled
A proposed €1million plan will transform the Parade Ground in Arklow. The plan which was unveiled last week includes a total revamp of the area between the Bank of Ireland side to past St Mary’s Road.
Urban designer Paul Conlon of Vision Landscape Solutions has identified a number of areas which could be improved upon both in terms of safety and aesthetics such as the narrow footpaths, hemmed in courthouse and lack of public amenity space.
He also suggested that the old Ormonde Castle could be made into more of a feature, complete with additional lighting and signage. The plan which will now go out to public consultation to get the views of the community was supported by members of Arklow Municipal District who felt the design would be a very positive step for the town.
If given the green light, the plan would take up to three years to complete.
A new plan which could see an investment of up to €1million in the Parade Ground area of Arklow was unveiled to Arklow Municipal District members and officials last Wednesday.
A proposed design for the area was presented to the council by urban designer Paul Conlon of Vision Landscape Solutions, which included a complete overhaul of the area between the Bank of Ireland on side to past St Mary’s Road.
Mr Conlon outlined that he evaluated the site and identified a number of areas which could be improved upon both in terms of safety and aesthetics such as the narrow footpaths, hemmed in courthouse and lack of public amenity space.
He said that as a car-dominated town, the lack of a such an amenity and pedestrian-led area could potentially deter tourists and visitors from coming into Arklow.
He also suggested that the old Ormonde Castle could be made into more of a feature, complete with additional lighting and signage.
The designer also gave a nod to the area’s rich mining and maritime history and suggested copper-coloured granite for the road and pavement surfaces which would differentiate Arklow from other towns in the county.
The response from the coun- cillors was very positive and they shared the view that this would be a very positive step for Arklow.
They suggested that it would provide an ideal public space for future community and outdoor events and welcomed the provision in the design for a feature fountain which would be built into a mosaic tile centrepiece in the area linking the courthouse to the street.
While such an ambitious project could cost anywhere between €750,000 to €1million, the members were positive that it could happen, possibly in three phases, starting with the courthouse section.
If funding were available in a lump sum, it was estimated that such a project could take between eight and 10 months, but in phases, a timeline of three years is expected.
Members agreed that the plan should go out to public consultation to get the views of the community on the design.
The proposed design for the revamped Parade Ground area.
An artist’s impression of the proposed €1 million development of the parade ground area.
Parade Ground, Arklow.