07 Oct 2022

Master Plan unveiled for Banagher Marina and Environs

Excellent Master Plan unveiled for Banagher Marina and Environs

The Master Plan for Banagher Marina and environs divides the area into four sections: the Trailhead Hub, the Gateway, Public Realm, and the Water Hub. The public is being invited to fill in a survey.

An excellent Master Plan has been unveiled for the Marina and Environs in Banagher and the public are being invited to fill out an online survey to give their opinions about the various proposals. The survey closing date is September 25.

This project is one element of a larger regeneration plan for the town of Banagher. It will develop the Banagher marina for visitors, offer new opportunities to local businesses and improve the experience of living in and around the town for local residents.

Among the many proposals, there are a number of proposals for changing and improving the traffic management in the area. Among these is a plan to dedicate more space to pedestrians, cyclists and public spaces, rather than to cars and other vehicles. The wish is to give pedestrians and cyclists the priority on all roads and to provide improved pedestrian and cycling links. To facilitate this, it's suggested that the following be introduced: Implement a 30kph speed limit; introduce a one-way system running anti clockwise around the marina, with bollards or a lifting barrier during high season to restrict casual visitors accessing the waterfront roads; use landscaping strips along the water's edge to prevent car parking there.

It's also planned to develop a trailhead hub that would facilitate walkers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts. The location for this would be left/west of the bridge ramp, and the area includes a number of key buildings. It's also proposed to provide a high quality public space that can cater for events and markets, as well as improved access and pedestrian links to the marina and to the wider area. The reuse of vacant properties and potential for dining is also included in the plans.

The planners want to make safe the old mill structure as a stabilised ‘living ruin’ with provision of a nature/hiking/cycling trailhead facility within its walls; with associated coach set down area.

Other ideas include: using the Steam Packet building as a café/restaurant; improving the public park with seating, picnic benches and potential for pop-up dining; creating a pedestrian link under the ramp bridge; creating a walking/cycling link to Fort Eliza; creating a multi-functional space within the barrack's walls for markets and other events; improving the road environment and access, including: providing new road surface and materials, raising the road surface at the crossing area for traffic calming, improving pedestrian crossings; transforming vacant properties (where they occur) as retail/crafts/self-catering units.

It is proposed to develop a water hub adjacent to the water front that would provide enhanced enjoyment of the water for both existing users and casual visitors. The suggestions to improve safety and rationalise the current traffic issues will allow for improved access and enjoyment of the water.

Other plans for the water front include the following:

- Improved pedestrian links to the other side of the river.
- A public plaza with potential physical capacity for expansion of water sports (should demand arise and water access capacity be sufficient).
- Potential for additional public moorings to harbour.
- Potential for improved kayak launch area to ensure safe access to water, with potential provision of dedicated waterside kayak storage.
- New surface materials to the marina front, giving priority to pedestrians.
- Potential relocation of public parking to rear of marina and provision of new public space in its place.
- Provision of car with trailer parking.
- Provision of single WC to rear of marina.
- Potential location of campsite.
- Location for a potential boat launch business or dedicated slipway/water access management.

It is pointed out that the improvement of the public realm adjacent to the harbour will provide high quality public and civic space for tourists and residents alike.
The proposals will visually open up the marina to the wider town, and provide improved wc and changing facilities.

A new civic space with playground, a second campsite and the provision of a boathouse for the Sionn Mhara boat and group would also feature.

It's intended to signal and signify the presence of the marina in order to link it more successfully to the wider town.

Other suggestions include: Use of the Shannon hotel site as a key building that will signal entry to the marina area and to the new public plaza; improvement of existing pool hall and opening it up to new public spaces; removal of existing walls to visually and physically open up the marina area to Main Street.

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