Monday 14 March 2011

Planners travel to Knowth for balloon test

THE PLANNING inspectors who are holding a hearing by An Bord Pleanála into a proposed N2 bypass of Slane, Co Meath, were among a group of people who stood on top of the Knowth megalithic monument yesterday.

They were looking westwards towards Slane and at two balloons or blimps which Meath County Council had raised up to the height of a bridge to be built over the Boyne 1km east of Slane as part of the bypass.

The balloon test was suggested by heritage expert Dr Douglas Comer, who told the hearing it would help to illustrate the possible visual impact of the bridge on the nearby Brú na Boinne, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.

There are concerns that the visual impact of the bridge could have implications for the status of the site with Unesco.

The balloons were inflated and then allowed rise first to 18m above the valley floor and then they were dropped to 12m.

These are the height options being proposed for the new bridge.

Irish Times

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