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N81 Tullow Footbridges Scheme & Associated Road Reconfiguration Works Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Kildare County Council September 13 2017

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N81 Tullow Footbridges Scheme & Associated Road Reconfiguration Works Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Kildare County Council

September 13 2017

N81 Tullow Footbridges Scheme & Associated Road Reconfiguration Works Environmental Impact Assessment Screening

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Notice

This document and its contents have been prepared and are intended solely for Kildare County Council’s information and use in relation to work at Slaney Bridge, Co. Carlow.

Atkins assumes no responsibility to any other party in respect of or arising out of or in connection with this document and/or its contents.

This document has 39 pages including the cover.

Document history

Job number: 5153094 Document ref: 5153094Dg17

Revision Purpose description Originated Checked Reviewed Authorised Date

Rev 1.0 EIA Screening Report ED ED POD MJ 08/05/17

Rev 1.1 Revision 1.1 ED ED POD MJ 13/9/2017

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Table of contents

Chapter Pages

1. Introduction 1 Background to the commission 1 Description of the Proposed Works 3 General Description of the Project Location 5 Purpose of the Study 7

2. Methodology 8 Desk Study 8 EIS Screening 8

3. Characterisation of the Proposed Development 13 The size of the proposed development 13 The cumulative impact with other proposed developments 13 The use of natural resources 14 The production of waste 14 Residues and Emissions during construction 14 Residues and Emissions during operation 15 The risk of accidents, having regard to substances and techniques used 16

4. Location of Proposed Development 17 Current land-use 17 Abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the area 17

5. Type and Characteristics of Potential Impacts 20 Extent of the impact (geographical area and size of the affected population) 20 Transfrontier nature of the impact 20 Magnitude and complexity of the impact 21 Probability of the impact 21 Duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact 21

6. Screening Conclusion 22

7. References 25

Appendices 26

Appendix A. Annexes of the Regulations 27 A.1. ANNEX I Projects Subject to Article 4(1) 28 A.2. ANNEX II Projects Subject to Article 4(2) 29 A.3. ANNEX III Information Referred to in Article 5(1) 33

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Tables

Table 2-1 Activities requiring Mandatory EIA. 10

Table 2-2 Activities requiring consideration for EIS. 10

Table 2-3 Criteria for determining whether a development would or would not be likely

to have significant effects on the environment. 11

Table 6-1 EIA Checklist 22

Figures

Figure 1-1 Location of N81 Slaney Bridge.

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1. Introduction

1.1. Atkins was commissioned to examine a number of design options for the resolution of existing conflicts in traffic movements across Slaney Bridge while maintaining safe pedestrian access. The commission includes design of pedestrian bridges, lighting system; the redesign of the junction of the N81 and R418 to improve turning movements for HGV vehicles turning northbound on the N81 from the R418 and the creation of a one-way traffic system from the N81 to R418 via Hawkins Lane.

Background to the commission

1.2. The existing N81 Bridge in Tullow is a four span masonry arch over the River Slaney, built circa 1855. The overall length of the bridge between abutments, is approximately 33.9 m, carrying the N81. The overall width of the structure is 10.26 m.

1.3. It has been identified that both vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety is compromised during large HGV movements from the R418 northbound onto the N81. During these movements, large HGV traffic is forced across into the opposing lane of the N81, in addition to mounting the nearside western footpath in order to complete the turning movement. With the aforementioned in mind it is considered that the existing 1.4 m pedestrian footpaths are inadequate and new footbridges on both sides of the structure are required. Various potential solutions were examined to alleviate existing conflicts in the traffic turning movements while facilitating the safe passage of pedestrians on the bridge. To facilitate safe pedestrian movement all options would require the construction of new footbridges on both sides of the existing bridge.

1.4. The protected status of Slaney Bridge required careful consideration of its interface with the proposed works. In consultation with conservation architects it was determined that the proposed works to the existing bridge would be kept to a minimum and that a one-way traffic system from the N81 westwards to R418 Thomas Traynor Street / Castledermot utilising Hawkins Lane would be implemented. The one-way system will be facilitated by widening the west side of the junction at Hawkins Lane/Thomas Traynor Street. Traffic travelling northward and southwards over Slaney Bridge on the N81 will be unaffected.

1.5. Three options for the footbridges have been considered; these are as follows: -

Option 1 consists of precast concrete bridges comprising pre-stressed slabs spanning between existing piers cutwaters and supported on in-situ concrete pad foundations incorporated into the cutwater and river walls. This option

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would include granite masonry cladding to the proposed footbridges facia to match the granite masonry façade of the existing bridge.

Option 2 consists of steel bridge decks with steel box sections spanning between the existing cutwaters and supported on circular steel sections at the cutwaters and on concrete pads on the river walls. The supports on the cutwaters are splayed outwardly (longitudinally) to minimise the deck span and therefore minimise the deck depth (this option is presented in the design drawings listed in paragraph 1.8).

Option 3 is similar to Option 2 and comprises a steel bridge deck spanning between the existing cutwaters with simple vertical supports at the cutwaters. This option minimises steelwork fabrication, but requires deeper steel box sections.

1.6. All the above options include provisions for carrying multiple services under the footbridges.

1.7. The preferred design solution is Option 2; design drawings for which are listed in paragraph 1.8 (a full set of design drawings is included with the Part 8 planning application package). Photomontages of the proposed works are also included with the Part 8 Planning Application (i.e. drawing no. 5153094-HTR-DR-8012 & 2013).

1.8. This report should be read in conjunction with design drawings is included with the Part 8 planning application package. Key drawings include: -

5153094-HTR-DR-8001 Site Location Map / Plan

5153094-HTR-DR-8007 Proposed Bridge Site Layout Plan

5153094-HTR-DR-8009 Existing & Proposed Bridge Elevations (Sheet 1 of 2)

5153094-HTR-DR-8010 Existing & Proposed Bridge Elevations (Sheet 2 of 2)

5153094-HTR-DR-8011 Proposed Footbridges Typical Cross Sections

5153094-HTR-DR-8013 Photomontages of Proposed Footbridges

5153094-HTR-DR-8014 - 8016 Proposed Lighting Design (Sheets 1-3)

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Description of the Proposed Works

1.9. The proposed footbridges will be 2m wide and their vertical profile will, in so far as is possible, follow that of the existing masonry bridge. The footbridges will be constructed of profiled aluminium decking on a galvanised and painted structural steel frame. The steel frame would span between the existing bridge piers cutwater and the river walls. The footbridges will be anchored to the existing bridge at the piers. A new footbridge structures will be located on both sides of the existing masonry road bridge.

1.10. The archaeological and architectural heritage importance of the existing bridge (NIAH ref. no. 10400325) has been assessed as part of the design process and to support the application for Part 8 planning permission.

1.11. The junction of the N81 and R418 Thomas Traynor Street is currently geometrically inadequate to accommodate two way movements of HGV’s. This results in HGV’s frequently carrying out unsafe turning manoeuvres while turning north onto N81 Slaney Bridge from R418 Thomas Traynor Street. The proposal to provide footbridges also includes a proposal to implement a one-way traffic system within the town via Hawkins Lane. This work will require the provision of appropriate signage, road markings and minor works to guide HGV traffic approaching the bridge along R418 Thomas Traynor Street and on Hawkins Lane. The traffic system changes will result in greater movements of HGV traffic along Hawkins Lane than was previously the case.

1.12. Site works associated with the design process include topographical surveys (completed in November & December 2016) and proposed geotechnical and structural investigations. These works are required to inform the final footbridges design and one-way traffic system on Hawkins Lane. The topographical surveys were carried out on foot and did not require any intrusive works on the river banks or within the river channel.

1.13. The geotechnical investigations will be carried out from the existing bridge and from the existing concrete slipway at the western end of the bridge adjacent to R418 Thomas Traynor Road. The geotechnical works from the bridge deck involve coring down through the piers and behind the river walls into the bed of the river to a depth of 4 – 5 m. A core in the riverbed will be obtained by placing the coring equipment in-stream close to the slipway at the western end of the bridge. A further core will be undertaken above water level through both bridge abutments to establish their thickness. There will be no vehicular machinery in the river during these works. The resultant voids left in the bridge by the cores will be in-filled with grout; while the void in the riverbed will be in-filled with clean gravel. The geotechnical investigations are minor in nature given that they are limited to the removal of cores from the bridge structure and a single core from the river bed. The contractor appointed will take due care to avoid any impacts on the receiving environment while obtaining the cores.

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1.14. There will be no large machinery, such as excavators or diggers, working in-stream at any time during the construction of the footbridges. Scaffolding will be required in the river around the pier cutwaters to facilitate the installation of the footbridges and their supports on the cutwaters and river walls. The scaffolding will be manually erected by construction workers. The scaffolding will be placed on the existing concrete apron which extends underneath the bridge on both sides. The scaffolding will be 1.0 m wide and will not impact on the river bed as it will be wholly contained within the concrete apron. Construction of the footbridges will be carried out from the scaffolding, existing bridge deck and from the river walls at either end of the bridge. As the steel bridge sections will be prefabricated the construction works required to put them in place will be limited to construction of pad supports for the footbridges on the cutwaters and river walls. The footbridges will then be fixed in place on the cutwaters/river walls and tied to the existing piers for stability. This will require coring a small hole through the existing bridge parapets/piers at each cutwater to facilitate the installation of stainless steel tie rods/anchors.

1.15. The site investigation works are anticipated to last 1-2 weeks and the construction of the footbridges are anticipated to be completed within 9 months, with construction works commencing in Spring 2018 if planning is secured.

1.16. The Contractor will be required to work to published (standard) construction work environmental best practices during works; this would include for example the implementation of appropriate pollution prevention measures such as the use of spill kits; safe storage of material; maintaining vehicles in good working order etc. to protect the River Slaney during the works.

a. The appointed contractor will be required to prepare a method statement for each element of the construction works. The method statement should refer to appropriate guidance such as the CIRIA publications ‘Environmental good practice on site guide (C741D)’, Control of water pollution from construction sites. Guidance for consultants and contractors (C532D)’, Inland Fisheries Ireland Guidelines on Protection of Fisheries During Construction Works In and Adjacent to Waters 2016 and the site specific Disinfection Protocol for Personnel visiting Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) infected areas prepared by Invas Biosecurity1 in advance of the topographic surveys.

b. The contractor will identify and name a project manager / site manager / site foreman in the method statement. The site manager / site foreman will supervise all activities on the construction site and ensure compliance with measures, such as maintenance of a protective buffer zone, to protect the receiving environment. The site manager / site foreman will be responsible for ensuring all site workers are informed of the approach to good working

1 Details of Invas Biosecurity can be found at: - http://invasivespecies.ie/.

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practice on site and any additional measures they may wish to employ to protect the receiving environment.

c. The site compound for the proposed works will be set back from the River Slaney at a suitable location to be decided by the appointed contractor in consultation with the Client and the Local Authority.

d. Materials will be stored away from the river in the designated site compound for the construction site and there will be no storage of construction materials on or near the banks of the River Slaney.

e. Waste materials will be placed in a designated skip within the site compound. All waste generated on site will be disposed of appropriately at a licensed waste facility.

f. The construction machinery required on site will be limited, however all refuelling of machines will be carried out in a designated area in the site compound and will be supervised by a designated person. Drip trays/plant nappies will be used as standard under machines when refuelling is taking place.

g. Any spills of fuel, hydraulic oils or lubricants will be contained immediately. Contaminated material will be removed from the site and disposed of correctly. Spill kits will be present on site in case of such an incident and the site staff will be trained in their use.

h. Concrete required for the works will be delivered to the site ready mixed. The readymix delivery lorry will then return to the site compound to wash out the container and chute in a designated concrete washout area.

i. Any further measures deemed necessary to protect the receiving environment will be put in place during works associated with installation of the footbridges.

General Description of the Project Location

1.17. The N81 Slaney Bridge in Tullow, Co Carlow crosses over the main channel of the Slaney River and is located (centered) at Ordnance Survey Ireland Grid Reference (OSIGR) S 85144 73058. The river channel is approximately 30 m wide at the bridge location. The riparian habitat in this area does not conform to any Annex 1 habitats2 and is largely artificial in nature i.e. consists of manmade structures such as concrete walls and buildings. The invasive plant species, Japanese knotweed

2 Habitats considered to be of conservation importance at the European level and listed on Annex 1 of the EU Habitats Directive.

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Fallopia japonica and Himalayan balsam Impatiens glandulifera, are known to be present along the river banks in this area, though not within the works area.

1.18. The Slaney River is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC; 000781) designated for a number of habitats and species including the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera. The closest known record of freshwater pearl mussel downstream of the bridge is 4.2 km south (at the confluence of the Slaney and the Derreen). Otter Lutra lutra has been recorded in Tullow3. The habitats in the riparian zone at the location of the bridge do not offer suitable habitat for otter breeding or resting places as suitable vegetation cover is not present. However, this species is likely to regularly pass through when using the Slaney River for commuting. With respect to general ecology, the bridge appears to offer low potential for use by roosting bats due to the very tight fitting masonry blocks, shotcreted arches and well grouted crevices.

Plate 1.1 N81 Slaney Bridge (downstream).

3 This record dates from 1981 and is included in NPWS Rare and Protected Species Records provided in response to a request for data.

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Plate 1.2 View of left hand bank (upstream).

Purpose of the Study 1.19. The purpose of this report is to screen the proposed provision of footbridges to

generate a summarised overview of the potential impacts of the proposal on the receiving environment. Should the likelihood of significant environmental effects exist, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) may be required in order to identify mitigation measures and alternative solutions such that, as far as is practicable, there will be no significant environmental effect on the receiving environment as a result of this development.

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2. Methodology

Desk Study

2.1. A desk study was carried out to collate information available on Natura 2000 sites in the vicinity of the proposed works on Slaney Bridge. The location of the proposed development and the surrounding area was viewed using Google Earth, Google maps4 and Bing maps5 (last accessed on 25th April 2017). Carlow County Council website (last accessed 25th April 2017) was accessed for information on other plans and projects that may act in combination with the proposed works at Slaney Bridge.

2.2. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) online databases were consulted concerning Natura 2000 sites in the vicinity of the proposed development. A data request was also submitted to NPWS on 18th January 2017 and a response was received on the 26th January 2017. The photos of the location of Slaney Bridge, taken during engineering site visits, were also reviewed during the desk study.

2.3. The Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment of Slaney Bridge prepared by John Cronin & Associates (2017) was reviewed as part of the desk study for the EIA screening.

EIS Screening

2.4. Environmental Impact Statement Screening was undertaken in line with Section 3.2 of the Revised Guidelines on the Information to be contained in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (EPA, Draft August, 2017).

2.5. The first step is to determine if the proposed works at Tullow represent a project as understood by the Directive. Such projects are defined in Article 4 of the EIA Directive and set out in Annexes 1 and II of the Directive (see Appendix A for details of these Annexes. However, it is not just a question of comparing the proposed works to the general description of project types; it may also be necessary to go further and consider the component parts of the proposed works and any processes arising from them.

2.6. The next step is to determine whether the project exceeds a specific threshold (as set out in the legislation). The only type of project to which thresholds do not apply are those considered to always be likely to have significant effects and therefore require an EIS.

4 https://www.google.ie/maps 5 http://www.bing.com/maps/

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2.7. There are no exacting rules as to what constitutes “significant” in terms of environmental impacts. The responsibility is on Planning Authorities to carefully examine every aspect of a development in the context of Characterisation of the Project; Location of the project and Type & Characteristics of potential impacts (Table 2.3). It is generally not necessary to provide specialist studies or technical reports to complete this screening process, rather to investigate where further studies may be required, and where risks, if any, to the integrity of the receiving environment may lie.

Legislative Context

2.8. The Environmental Impact Directive (85/337/EEC) was brought into force in 1985. Subsequent amendments were made with the following pieces of legislation - 97/11/EC, 2003/35/EC, 2009/31/EC and 2014/52/EU. The Directive was originally transposed into Irish Law by the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1989 (S.I. No. 349/1989). This amended the Local Government (Planning and Development Act) 1963, and introduced the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment in certain specified circumstances.

2.9. Annex I of the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations lists the activities for which a Mandatory EIA is required. Annex II of the Regulations lists the activities for which the relevant Member State is to exercise discretion on whether or not an EIA is necessary. This decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. Annex III of the Regulations outlines the criteria which must be taken into consideration when a sub-threshold project is being examined for Environmental Impact. The full details of Annex I – III can be found at Appendix A of this report.

2.10. The most recent amendment to the Directive is focused on clarifying and simplifying the process of EIA. The screening criteria have been updated, and Member States have a mandate to simplify their assessment procedures. EIA reports are to be made more readily understandable to members of the general public.

Mandatory Requirement for EIA

2.11. An EIA is required as a matter of course on specified large-scale projects which have a high likelihood of impacting on the receiving environment. These projects are listed in detail in the EIA Directive, Annex I, (85/337/EU – amended 97/11/EC, 2003/35/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2014/52/EU), listed in Planning & Development Regulations, Schedule 5, Part 1 – Development for the purposes of Part 10. See Table 2.1 below for a list activities requiring mandatory EIA (see also Appendix A).

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Table 2-1 Activities requiring Mandatory EIA.

Process or Activity

Crude-oil refinery

Gasification & Liquifaction

Nuclear Power

Radioactive Waste Storage & Disposal

Melting of cast-iron or steel

Extraction or processing of asbestos, or products containing asbestos.

Integrated chemical installation

Railway line

Aerodrome runway

Trading port or inland waterway

Disposal of hazardous waste

2.12. The proposed provision of pedestrian footbridges on N81 Slaney Bridge does not fall within the processes or activities listed in Table 2.1, therefore a mandatory EIA is not required.

Requirement for Member State Discretionary Decision on EIA

2.13. Each EU Member State has discretionary consideration for the requirement of an

EIA in relation to the various processes and activities listed in Table 2.2 (listed in

Planning & Development Regulations, Schedule 5, Part 2 – Development for the

purposes of Part 10) (see also Appendix A).

Table 2-2 Activities requiring consideration for EIS.

Process or Activity

Intensive Agriculture, including salmon farming and land reclamation

Extractive industries, including peat extraction, associated processes and geothermal drilling.

Energy industry

Processing of metals

Manufacture of glass

Chemical Industry

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Food industry

Textile, leather, wood and paper industries

Rubber industry

Infrastructure projects

Other projects

All modifications to specified developments

Criteria for Evaluation of Processes and Activities

2.14. Criteria to evaluate whether impacts are significant on the environment arising from developments are listed in Table 2.3 (listed in Planning & Development Regulations, 2001 Schedule 7, Criteria for determining whether a development would or would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment). Section 3 of this report addresses the proposed implementation of a new one-way traffic system and provision of pedestrian footbridges on the N81 Slaney Bridge under the criteria outlined in Table 2.3 below.

Table 2-3 Criteria for determining whether a development would or would not be likely to have significant effects on the environment.

Criteria Summary of Level of Detail Phase

Characterisation of the project

The characteristics of proposed development, in particular: -

the size of the proposed development,

the cumulation with other proposed development,

the nature of any associated demolition works, ‒ the use of natural resources,

the production of waste,

pollution and nuisances,

the risk of accidents, having regard to substances or technologies used.

Construction

Operational

Location of the project

The existing land use: -

the relative abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the area,

the absorption capacity of the natural environment, paying

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Criteria Summary of Level of Detail Phase

particular attention to the following areas: -

(a) wetlands,

(b) coastal zones,

(c) mountain and forest areas,

(d) nature reserves and parks, Comment [i547]: Substituted by article 8 of S.I. No. 235/2008 – Planning and Development Regulations 2008 393

(e) areas classified or protected under legislation, including special protection areas designated pursuant to Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC,

(f) areas in which the environmental quality standards laid down in legislation of the EU have already been exceeded,

(g) densely populated areas,

(h) landscapes of historical, cultural or archaeological significance.

Type and characteristics of the potential impact

Extent of the impact having particular regard to: -

the extent of the impact (geographical area and size of the affected population),

the transfrontier nature of the impact,

the magnitude and complexity of the impact,

the probability of the impact,

the duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact.

Construction

Operational

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3. Characterisation of the Proposed Development

The size of the proposed development

3.1. The proposed development consists of the provision of two new footbridges on the existing N81 Slaney Bridge and the implementation of a new one-way traffic system to facilitate safe movement of HGV traffic. The N81 road will widened within the deck of the existing N81 masonry bridge and one-way traffic system implemented via Hawkins Lane. The footbridges will be prefabricated and placed on supports attached to the existing masonry bridge. The proposed development is limited to the immediate area of the N81 Tullow masonry bridge and the implementation of a one-way system using Hawkins Lane.

The cumulative impact with other proposed developments

3.2. Carlow County Council planning portal was accessed for information on other proposed or permitted developments that could act in-combination with the proposed provision of footbridges. The majority of developments in the area surrounding the proposed development are for single dwelling houses.

3.1. The following plans and projects were reviewed when considering in-combination effects: -

Carlow County Development Plan 2015 – 2021.

Tullow Draft Local Area Plan 2016-2022.

Planning applications within the last 5 years in the immediate vicinity of Slaney Bridge.

3.2. There are no objectives within either the Carlow County Development Plan or the Tullow Local Area Plan that could act in-combination with the proposed site investigations, new one-way traffic system and construction works to give rise to significant effects on the environment.

3.3. There are no planning applications within the immediate vicinity of Slaney Bridge in the last five years. Planning applications within the wider Tullow town area have been largely been for new dwellings, extension to new dwellings, change of use of buildings and retention applications for dwellings or extension to dwellings. The planning applications reviewed are not considered likely to give rise to impacts that could act in-combination with the potential impacts of the proposed site investigations and construction works to give rise to effects on otter. In-combination effects are therefore not considered likely to occur.

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3.4. There is no potential for the developments and plans described above to act in-combination with the proposed development and give rise to cumulative impacts. It is considered unlikely that there will be any cumulative impacts arising from the proposed footbridges and associated works in-combination with other proposed and permitted developments.

The use of natural resources

3.5. Other than construction materials, the proposed development will not require the use of any natural resources as the construction work will be limited to the provision of footbridges on the existing N81 masonry bridge and minor works to facilitate the implementation of the new one-way traffic system. Where practical reuse of existing materials will be undertaken, in so far as is possible.

The production of waste

3.6. The construction phase of the development may generate waste such as plastic wrapping or wooden pallets but the waste will be removed off – site to the site compound where it will be stored before it is recycled or disposed of at a licensed waste facility.

3.7. The operation of the footbridges will not result in any generation of waste.

Residues and Emissions during construction

3.8. The will be no working in-stream and no foundation repair works to the existing bridge are required. The construction of the footbridges will be carried out from scaffolding, the deck of the existing bridge or from the river walls at either end. The widening of the N81 will also be carried out within the existing bridge deck. The construction of the steel footbridges will require drilling into the masonry of the existing bridge, this may generate small amounts of dust but this will be not be significant. The management of dust will be in line with best practice such as that set out in Guidelines for the Treatment of Air Quality During the Planning and Construction of National Road Schemes (NRA, 2011)

3.9. Construction will require the use of machinery and the presence of such machines will result in a temporary increase of noise. These increased noise levels will be limited to the construction phase and will be within an urban environment that is already subject to large volumes of machinery noise from traffic and surrounding businesses. Noise levels will not exceed the indicative levels of acceptability for construction noise in an urban environment as set out in the NRA guidance Good Practice Guidance for the Treatment of Noise during the Planning of National Road Schemes.

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3.10. The operation of the footbridges and implementation of the new one-way traffic system will not give rise to any residues or emissions to the Slaney River.

Residues and Emissions during operation

3.11. The implementation of a new one-way traffic system will redistribute the traffic differently through this area of the town. A new one-way system will direct traffic through Hawkins Lane, currently a two – way street, resulting in an increase in HGV traffic through this street. As it was determined that the traffic noise levels could potentially increase locally in this area, AWN6 were retained to assess the potential noise impacts associated with the proposed changes to the road network in Tullow.

3.12. Environmental noise surveys were conducted by AWN at several locations along the route to establish the existing baseline noise environment in the area7. It was determined that the current noise environment is dominated by road traffic. To determine the noise impact of the proposed traffic management scheme a noise model was developed. Noise levels were predicted at properties along the route for the projected traffic flows (provided by the Local Authority) during the operation of the scheme.

3.13. It was determined that the proposed scheme to change the traffic flow through Tullow will result in perceptible noise impacts at the properties along the roads. The impacts are defined as being minor to major depending on the properties locations along the scheme. However, mitigation options are to be examined for the worst-affected properties (i.e. 4 no. properties; see Table 5 of AWN Report, 2017). Options for mitigation include reduction of noise at source, treat the propagation path or reduce noise at the receiver. The most practical option in this instance is to reduce noise at the receiver – this option is to be further investigated and implemented for the worst-affected properties.

3.14. The potential for HGV traffic through Hawkins Lane to result in increased vibration in this area as a result of the changes in how the traffic moves through this area is also a consideration. However, NRA guidance8 states “Ground vibration produced by road traffic is unlikely to cause perceptible structural vibration in properties located near to well-maintained and smooth road surfaces.” AWN noted in their Nosie report that “Furthermore, vibration was not perceptible at any noise survey locations”.

6 AWN (2017). Tullow Footbridges. Part 8 Planning Noise Report. Prepared for Kildare County Council. 7 Locations included Hawkins Lane, Thomas Traynor Street and Abbey Street (see Table 1 of AWN, 2017). Noise levels recorded are presented in Table 2 & Table 3 of the AWN report. 8 Treatment of Noise and Vibration in National Road Schemes.

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3.15. Care will be taken to ensure that the road surface in Hawkins Lane meets this requirement during works to implement the new one-way traffic management system.

The risk of accidents, having regard to substances and techniques used

3.16. The risk of accidents associated with the construction phase is low given to the relatively small scale of the works required. The risks associated with such work are those that are commonly associated with working with machinery and assuming standard health and safety procedures are adopted, implemented and complied with the risk of accidents is low.

3.17. The provision of footbridges on either side of the existing bridge, the implementation of a new one-way traffic management system and the increased width available for large vehicles turning onto the N81 Slaney Bridge will improve the safety for both pedestrians and motorists using the bridge.

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4. Location of Proposed Development

4.1. The proposed development consists of the provision of footbridges on the sides of the existing N81 Slaney Bridge and the implementation of a new one-way traffic management system including a one-way system within Hawkins Lane. The footbridges will be attached to the side of the existing bridge which will allow the carriageway of the N81 to be widened within the deck of the bridge.

Current land-use

4.2. The current land use is a masonry arch bridge over the River Slaney in the town of Tullow, Co. Carlow. The Slaney Bridge in Tullow is a protected structure included on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) within the current Carlow County Development Plan. In 1999, the bridge was rated as being of regional importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey of bridges and other historic structures in County Carlow. Thomas Traynor Street, N81 and Hawkins Lane in Tullow town are in use to move traffic in to and within the town.

Abundance, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the area

4.3. Natural resources in the area are not required to facilitate the provision of the footbridges, implementation of the new one-way traffic management system and widening of the N81 within the deck of the existing bridge.

Land

4.4. The footprint of the existing N81 Slaney Bridge will remain the same, there is no requirement for additional land-take to facilitate the construction and operation of the footbridges and wider N81 carriageway. There is a small requirement for additional land-take to facilitate the implementation of the new one-way traffic management system.

Soil

4.5. There will be no excavations and no importation of soil for the construction and operation of the proposed footbridges and new one-way traffic management system.

Biodiversity

4.6. The N81 Slaney Bridge crosses the Slaney River SAC; an Appropriate Assessment (AA) screening will be carried out by the competent authority during the Part 8 planning process for the proposed development. An AA screening report

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has been prepared to support the application for Part 8 planning and this addresses the potential for impacts on the SAC. The AA screening report concluded that significant effects on the SAC are not likely to arise as a result of the proposed development.

4.7. There will be no habitat or species loss because of the proposed development as there will be no works in-stream and there will be no land take required. The masonry arch bridge is constructed with very tightly fitting blocks and the arches have been treated with shotcrete. The bridge is considered to have low potential for use by roosting bats. As the bridge is of low value to roosting bats, due to the absence of gaps / voids in the masonry, lighting proposals will not affect its value as a roost. However, bats are considered likely to forage in the area and the lighting of the bridge could negatively affect more light intolerant species from feeding in its environs. The advice of an ecologist should be sought regarding the final lighting design and operation.

Resilience of the receiving environment

4.8. The footbridges will be attached to the existing masonry bridge, the new one-way traffic management system will be within existing roads and the N81 carriageway widening will be within the deck of the bridge. The footbridges have been designed to match the height and existing structure and the input of the conservation architect has been sought to ensure the design is appropriate. The footbridges should therefore be easily absorbed in the existing urban setting.

Presence of any designations

4.9. The N81 Slaney Bridge crosses the Slaney River SAC and the footbridges will also cross the SAC. The Slaney Bridge in Tullow is a protected structure included on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) within the current Carlow County Development Plan. In 1999, the bridge was rated as being of regional importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey of bridges and other historic structures in County Carlow.

4.10. The approach to design and construction of the bridge has incorporated measures to protect the integrity of the Slaney River and the existing bridge. There will be no in-stream working, all work will be carried out from scaffolding erected manually on the concrete apron under the bridge, existing bridge deck, scaffolding or the river walls at either end, and the contractor will be required to prepare a method statement using best practice guidance, as detailed earlier in this document, as well as ensuring there will be no storage of materials or machines near the Slaney River.

4.11. An Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment has been prepared for the N81 Slaney Bridge and the design of the footbridges has been devised with reference to this and based on advice from the conservation architect and lighting designer.

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Sensitivity of the receiving environment

4.12. The Slaney River Special Area of Conservation (SAC) flows under N81 Slaney Bridge. The Slaney River is designated an SAC due to the presence of certain habitats and species of European conservation value within the river system. Otter is one such species and is known to be present within the Slaney River in the area of the N81 Slaney Bridge. However, given the urban location of the bridge it is likely that otter utilise the area for feeding and commuting. The other habitats and species listed as features of interest of the Slaney River SAC are not known to be present in the area of Slaney Bridge. There will be no in-stream working and no impacts on the Slaney River are anticipated to occur.

4.13. The Slaney Bridge in Tullow is a protected structure included on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) within the current Carlow County Development Plan. In 1999, the bridge was rated as being of regional importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey of bridges and other historic structures in County Carlow. An Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment has been prepared for the N81 Slaney Bridge and the design of the footbridges has been devised with reference to this and based on advice from the conservation architect and lighting designer.

4.14. The proposed footbridges and widening of the N81 carriageway within the existing bridge deck are not considered likely to result in significant effects on the receiving environment. The noise survey noted that implementation of new one-way traffic management system would result in perceptible noise impacts at properties along the roads; but that options for mitigation are available. The approach to mitigation will be to reduce noise at the receiver; this will be further investigated and implemented for the worst-affected properties.

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5. Type and Characteristics of Potential Impacts

5.1. The proposed project involves the implementation of a new one-way traffic management system and provision of footbridges on the existing N81 masonry bridge Tullow, Co. Carlow

Extent of the impact (geographical area and size of the affected population)

5.2. The extents of potential impacts are limited to the existing masonry bridge and the traffic movements along Thomas Traynor Street, Hawkins Lane and the N81 east of the bridge. The proposed footbridges will be fixed to the sides of the existing bridge using steel supports attached to the masonry. All work to put the footbridges in place will be carried out from scaffolding erected on the concrete apron extending either side of the bridge, the existing bridge deck or from the river walls at either end.

5.3. There will be no impact on the population as a result of the provision of the footbridges other than to exclude pedestrians from the deck of the masonry bridge. This will be a positive impact as it will provide safer conditions for pedestrians and motorists negotiating the bridge.

5.4. The works to widen the N81 on the bridge will be limited to the extents of the bridge deck and the implementation of the new one-way traffic management system which will redistribute traffic moving through the town in a different direction. The traffic movements will be limited to the extents of existing roads within the town. Hawkins Lane will change from a two-way system to a one-way system. This will result in a change in the type and volume of traffic moving through Hawkins Lane, particularly the amount of HGV traffic. The effects of the changes will largely be limited to the area of Tullow town directly affected by the new one-way traffic management system. There will be a wider positive effect to the whole town through the freer movement of traffic over the bridge through the town. This will reduce the need for idling HGV traffic and traffic queues over the N81 Slaney Bridge.

Transfrontier nature of the impact

5.5. There is no potential for transfrontier impacts as a result of the implementation of a new one-way traffic management system, proposed footbridges and widening of the N81 carriageway within the masonry bridge deck.

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Magnitude and complexity of the impact

5.6. Significant effects on the receiving environment are not anticipated as a result of the provision of footbridges and widening the N81 carriageway within the deck of the existing bridge.

5.7. The noise survey noted that implementation of a new one-way traffic management system would result in perceptible noise impacts at properties along the roads; but that options for mitigation are available. The approach to mitigation will be to reduce noise at the receiver; this will be further investigated and implemented for the worst-affected properties.

Probability of the impact

5.8. The probability of impacts on the receiving environment, such as pollution of receiving waters, is considered to be extremely low. Localised impacts such dust generation during installation of the footbridges are probable. While changes in noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017) appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at affected properties.

Duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact

5.9. Impacts anticipated to arise as a result of the proposed development are localised in nature. Construction impacts are expected to be temporary and limited to the bridge location. Changes in traffic within the town will result in changes to existing noise levels within these locations as the new one-way traffic management system is altered. Whiles changes in concentration of noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017), appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at the worst-affected properties. The change in noise levels is not expected to increase on existing noise levels from traffic in the town rather it will be localised changes in the type of traffic noise due to the redirection of existing traffic through the town in a different way. These changes will be fully reversible if the traffic management system was to revert to what is currently in place.

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6. Screening Conclusion

6.1. Potential impacts are identified as being limited to localised changes in the levels and type of traffic noise during operation of the new one-way traffic management system, the generation of construction noise and small amounts of dust during drilling to affix the steel supports to the bridge.

6.2. The screening process followed in the preceding sections of this document indicates that while changes in concentration of noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017), appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at the worst-affected properties.

6.3. Bats are considered likely to forage in the area and the lighting of the bridge could negatively affect more light intolerant species from feeding in its environs. The advice of an ecologist should be sought regarding the final lighting design and operation.

6.4. Therefore, it can be concluded that while noise mitigation and specialist ecological advice on lighting is required, the proposal to provide footbridges and widen the N81 carriageway within the existing bridge deck does not trigger the requirement for Environment Impact Assessment.

Table 6-1 EIA Checklist

Checklist Comment

Will there be a large change in environmental conditions?

No. While changes in concentration of noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017), appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at the worst-affected properties.

Will new features be out-of-scale with the existing environment?

No

Will the effect be particularly complex? No

Will the effect extend over a large area?

No

Will there be any potential for trans-frontier impact?

No

Will many people be affected? No; impacts should be positive overall due to a reduction in traffic queues,

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Checklist Comment

idling HGVs and safer conditions for pedestrians and drivers.

While changes in concentration of noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017), appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at the worst-affected properties.

Will many receptors of other types (fauna and flora, businesses, facilities) be affected?

No (refer also to accompanying AA Screening).

Lighting of the bridge may negatively impact upon foraging bats using the river.

Will valuable or scarce features or resources be affected?

No

Is there a risk that environmental standards will be breached?

No

Is there a risk that protected sites, areas, features will be affected?

No, the sensitivities of the SAC and architecture has been considered in the scheme design and proposed approach to construction.

Is there a high probability of the effect occurring?

Yes. Noise changes will last for the duration of the of the new one-way traffic management system.

Will the effect continue for a long time? Yes. Noise changes will last for the duration of the traffic management system.

Will the effect be permanent rather than temporary?

Predicted noise changes will be fully reversible if the traffic management system was to revert to what is currently in place.

Will the impact be continuous rather than intermittent?

Yes. Noise changes will last for the duration of the traffic management system.

If it is intermittent will it be frequent rather than rare?

n.a.

Will the impact be irreversible? Predicted noise changes will be fully reversible if the traffic management

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Checklist Comment

system was to revert to what is currently in place.

Will it be difficult to avoid, or reduce or repair or compensate for the effect?

While changes in concentration of noise levels from traffic movements are predicted (AWN, 2017), appropriate mitigation is proposed to address this at the worst-affected properties.

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7. References

AWN (2017). Tullow Footbridges. Part 8 Planning Noise Report. Prepared for Kildare County Council.

Cronin, J. & Associates (2017) Slaney Bridge, Tullow, Co. Carlow. Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment.

Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government. (2013), Guidelines for Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanála on carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2017. ‘Revised Guidelines on the Information to be contained in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports – Draft’

Environmental Resources Management (2001) Guidance on EIA Screening. Published by the European Commission

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (2003) Guidance for Consent Authorities regarding sub-threshold Development. Published by the Stationery Office.

European Commission, (2015) Environmental Impact Assessment – EIA, Overview, Legal context.

European Council Directive (EC) 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 amending Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

European Council Directive (EU) 2014/52/EU of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

European Council Directive (EC) 85/337/EU of 1985 on Environmental Impact Directive.

NRA (2011) Guidelines for the Treatment of Air Quality during the Planning and Construction of National Road Schemes. Published by National Roads Authority.

NRA (2014) Good Practice Guidance for the Treatment of Noise during the Planning of National Road Schemes. Published by National Roads Authority.

Appendices

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Appendix A. Annexes of the Regulations

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A.1. ANNEX I Projects Subject to Article 4(1)

Crude-oil refineries (excluding undertakings manufacturing only lubricants from crude oil) and installations for the gasification and liquefaction of 500 tonnes or more of coal or bituminous shale per day.

Thermal power stations and other combustion installations with a heat output of 300 megawatts or more and nuclear power stations and other nuclear reactors (except research installations for the production and conversion of fissionable and fertile materials, whose maximum power does not exceed 1 kilowatt continuous thermal load).

Installations solely designed for the permanent storage or final disposal of radioactive waste.

Integrated works for the initial melting of cast-iron and steel.

Installations for the extraction of asbestos and for the processing and transformation of asbestos and products containing asbestos: for asbestos-cement products, with an annual production of more than 20 000 tonnes of finished products, for friction material, with an annual production of more than 50 tonnes of finished products, and for other uses of asbestos, utilization of more than 200 tonnes per year.

Integrated chemical installations.

Construction of motorways, express roads (1) and lines for long-distance railway traffic and of airports (2) with a basic runway length of 2 100 m or more.

Trading ports and also inland waterways and ports for inland-waterway traffic which permit the passage of vessels of over 1 350 tonnes.

Waste-disposal installations for the incineration, chemical treatment or land fill of toxic and dangerous wastes.

For the purposes of the Directive, 'express road' means a road which complies with the definition in the European Agreement on main international traffic arteries of 15 November 1975.

For the purposes of this Directive, 'airport' means airports which comply with the definition in the 1944 Chicago Convention setting up the International Civil Aviation Organization (Annex 14).

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A.2. ANNEX II Projects Subject to Article 4(2)

1. Agriculture

a. Projects for the restructuring of rural land holdings.

b. Projects for the use of uncultivated land or semi-natural areas for intensive agricultural purposes.

c. Water-management projects for agriculture.

d. Initial afforestation where this may lead to adverse ecological changes and land reclamation for the purposes of conversion to another type of land use.

e. Poultry-rearing installations.

f. Pig-rearing installations.

g. Salmon breeding.

h. Reclamation of land from the sea.

2. Extractive industry

a. Extraction of peat.

b. Deep drillings with the exception of drillings for investigating the stability of the soil and in particular:

c. geothermal drilling,

d. drilling for the storage of nuclear waste material,

e. drilling for water supplies.

f. Extraction of minerals other than metalliferous and energy-producing minerals, such as marble, sand, gravel, shale, salt, phosphates and potash.

g. Extraction of coal and lignite by underground mining.

h. Extraction of coal and lignite by open-cast mining.

i. Extraction of petroleum.

j. Extraction of natural gas.

k. Extraction of ores.

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l. Extraction of bituminous shale.

m. Extraction of minerals other than metalliferous and energy-producing minerals by open-cast mining.

n. Surface industrial installations for the extraction of coal, petroleum, natural gas and ores, as well as bituminous shale.

o. Coke ovens (dry coal distillation).

p. Installations for the manufacture of cement.

3. Energy industry

a. Industrial installations for the production of electricity, steam and hot water (unless included in Annex I).

b. Industrial installations for carrying gas, steam and hot water; transmission of electrical energy by overhead cables.

c. Surface storage of natural gas.

d. Underground storage of combustible gases.

e. Surface storage of fossil fuels.

f. Industrial briquetting of coal and lignite.

g. Installations for the production or enrichment of nuclear fuels.

h. Installations for the reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuels.

i. Installations for the collection and processing of radioactive waste (unless included in Annex I).

j. Installations for hydroelectric energy production.

4. Processing of metals

a. Iron and steelworks, including foundries, forges, drawing plants and rolling mills (unless included in Annex I).

b. Installations for the production, including smelting, refining, drawing and rolling, of nonferrous metals, excluding precious metals.

c. Pressing, drawing and stamping of large castings.

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d. Surface treatment and coating of metals.

e. Boilermaking, manufacture of reservoirs, tanks and other sheet-metal containers.

f. Manufacture and assembly of motor vehicles and manufacture of motor-vehicle engines.

g. Shipyards.

h. Installations for the construction and repair of aircraft.

i. Manufacture of railway equipment.

j. Swaging by explosives.

k. Installations for the roasting and sintering of metallic ores.

5. Manufacture of glass

6. Chemical industry

a. Treatment of intermediate products and production of chemicals (unless included in Annex I).

b. Production of pesticides and pharmaceutical products, paint and varnishes, elastomers and peroxides.

c. Storage facilities for petroleum, petrochemical and chemical products.

7. Food industry

a. Manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats.

b. Packing and canning of animal and vegetable products.

c. Manufacture of dairy products.

d. Brewing and malting.

e. Confectionery and syrup manufacture.

f. Installations for the slaughter of animals.

g. Industrial starch manufacturing installations.

h. Fish-meal and fish-oil factories.

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i. Sugar factories.

8. Textile, leather, wood and paper industries

a. Wool scouring, degreasing and bleaching factories.

b. Manufacture of fibre board, particle board and plywood.

c. Manufacture of pulp, paper and board.

d. Fibre-dyeing factories.

e. Cellulose-processing and production installations.

f. Tannery and leather-dressing factories.

9. Rubber industry

a. Manufacture and treatment of elastomer-based products.

10. Infrastructure projects

a. Industrial-estate development projects.

b. Urban-development projects.

c. Ski-lifts and cable-cars.

d. Construction of roads, harbours, including fishing harbours, and airfields (projects not listed in Annex I).

e. Canalization and flood-relief works.

f. Dams and other installations designed to hold water or store it on a long-term basis.

g. Tramways, elevated and underground railways, suspended lines or similar lines of a particular type, used exclusively or mainly for passenger transport.

h. Oil and gas pipeline installations.

i. Installation of long-distance aqueducts.

j. Yacht marinas.

11. Other projects

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a. Holiday villages, hotel complexes.

b. Permanent racing and test tracks for cars and motor cycles.

c. Installations for the disposal of industrial and domestic waste (unless included in Annex I).

d. Waste water treatment plants.

e. Sludge-deposition sites.

f. Storage of scrap iron.

g. Test benches for engines, turbines or reactors.

h. Manufacture of artificial mineral fibres.

i. Manufacture, packing, loading or placing in cartridges of gunpowder and explosives.

j. Knackers' yards.

12. Modifications to development projects included in Annex I and projects in Annex I undertaken exclusively or mainly for the development and testing of new methods or products and not used for more than one year.

A.3. ANNEX III Information Referred to in Article 5(1)

1. Description of the project, including in particular: a description of the physical characteristics of the whole project and the land-

use requirements during the construction and operational phases,

a description of the main characteristics of the production processes, for instance, nature and quantity of the materials used,

an estimate, by type and quantity, of expected residues and emissions (water, air and soil pollution, noise, vibration, light, heat, radiation, etc.) resulting from the operation of the proposed project.

2. Where appropriate, an outline of the main alternatives studied by the developer and an indication of the main reasons for his choice, taking into account the environmental effects.

1. A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed project, including, in particular, population, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material assets, including the architectural and

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archaeological heritage, landscape and the inter-relationship between the above factors.

2. A description (1) of the likely significant effects of the proposed project on the environment resulting from: the existence of the project,

the use of natural resources,

the emission of pollutants, the creation of nuisances and the elimination of waste;

and the description by the developer of the forecasting methods used to assess the effects on the environment.

3. A description of the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and where possible offset any significant adverse effects on the environment.

4. A non-technical summary of the information provided under the above headings. 5. An indication of any difficulties (technical deficiencies or lack of know-how)

encountered by the developer in compiling the required information. (1) This description should cover the direct effects and any indirect, secondary,

cumulative, short, medium and long-term, permanent and temporary, positive and negative effects of the project.

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