A PROPOSED new "central access" street through Kilkenny city, incorporating a cable-stayed bridge over the river Nore, would lead to the "destruction of significant buried archaeology" an oral hearing into the scheme has heard.
On the second day of an Bord Pleanála hearing, Coilín Ó Drisceoil, chairman of Kilkenny Archaeological Society, yesterday described the scheme as "flawed" and said it would "seriously injure the built heritage of the city". He told planning inspector Danny O'Connor "reclamation archaeology is hugely important" for the understanding of heritage towns and cities.
The scheme, which comprises 3.5km of a new urban roadway and a new river crossing between Kilkenny's two existing bridges, is jointly led by Kilkenny Borough and Kilkenny County councils.
The new street, which would run between the 13th century St Canice's Cathedral and the linked medieval heart of Kilkenny city, is opposed by the Heritage Council and An Taisce among others.
Mr Ó Drisceoil said the "preservation in situ of buried archaeology is the stated policy of the Department of Environment" and the proposed scheme would lead to the "destruction" of much of the area's known buried archaeological features.
John Mulholland, director of services with Kilkenny local authorities said if "submerged archaeology" was discovered, the council would act according to department protocols in dealing with it.
The hearing continues today.