Tidy Towns Competition 2010 – Celbridge Report
Judged on 15/06/2010
Max mark 2009 2010
Overall Development Approach 50 31 32
The Built Environment 50 32 32
Landscaping 50 33 33
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 32 32
Litter Control 50 30 30
Waste Minimisation 20 10 12
Tidiness 30 16 16
Residential Areas 40 30 30
Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 32 32
General Impression 10 8 8
TOTAL MARK 400 254 257
Overall Development Approach:
Celbridge is welcome to the 2010 National Tidy Towns Competition. Thank you for your submission which included your work plan together with map and supporting material, all of which facilitated the adjudication process. It is good to note your liaison with stakeholders in the town and community in general and also the number of initiatives and imaginative thinking which underpins your TidyTowns effort. Well done on the successful redevelopment of The Mill and its use as a Community Centre. We wish you every success in your plans for the future.
The Built Environment:
It was a pleasure to note the stock of period buildings which have retained their traditional features and are being nicely presented, however a word of caution; the droopy banner which features on the Michaelangelo restaurant spoiled an otherwise excellent presentation, perhaps a more visually pleasing alternative can be found? On the subject of banners, the one on the Spar shop on the main street is highly visible on entering the town from the bridge over the Liffey and looks most unattractive indeed, other banners which let down their shopfronts were one on the Designer Exchange Swap Shop and another on The Mill for a Summer Camp. The streetscape along Main Street is very pleasant when viewed from both ends and is nicely terminated by heritage buildings, however one wonders if some of the high walls which form the complex of buildings at The Mill might be cleaned? These old stone walls look quite weatherstained. The streetscape would be much improved with more attention paid to the retaining walls which form lanes, in many instances these are weatherstained and in some instances the view afforded into the rear of buildings on the Main Street was compromised. The retaining walls and associated view to the passageway beside the Pet Shop are a good example of which might be aimed for and of course the view inside was attractive also. It was a pleasure to note that the roadside facade of buildings which can be viewed on coming across the bridge were as attractive as their rear facaces. The AIB building was admired for its presentation which is particularly important as it forms a street corner. The Bank of Ireland premises looked well also. Public buildings are presented to a high standard.
Celbridge has a large number of trees at every stage of growth ranging from sapplings to magnificent mature trees of 100 feet and more and these are complemented nicely by neatly maintained hedgerow and grass verges in many instances. The curtilage area at Aldi was noted for its landscaping also; flower displays throughout the town were admired in almost all instances with many of the tubs and containers featured a cascading effect; the imaginative presentation of the roundabout with the Water Wheel feature was especially admired. The town seems to be well served by seated green amenity spaces, well done. The grotto is a lovely feature. The garden of the period building located beside the Pet Shop with its formal low hedge appropriate to it's construction period is a surprise element in the streetscape being almost hidden by the mature cypress tree.
Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
The River Liffey offers wonderful amenity potential to the town and it was a pleasant experience to saunter gently over the pedestrian bridge and appreciate the wildlife. It was also a pleasure to note the lack of litter and drinks cans, etc in the river however vegetation was accumulating at one of the bridge ramparts (tree branches and bramble) this should not be allowed to continue indefinately, another very large tree trunk in the river actually looks quite nice, almost like nature's sculpture. Well done on the installation of bat boxes in trees beside Simmonstown House and also on the creation of the ponds here and its significance for wildlife. It is good to note the 'watchdog' activities of the committee regarding the possible implications for wildlife of the development of land at Donaghcomper. Congratulations also to committee members who have worked to raise community awareness of the joys of wildlife and to the sub-committee for their Dawn Chorus Morning during April of this year, it sounds like it was a great, fun experience.
Litter control was very strong in most instances in Celbridge at the time of adjudication, however some take-away litter was noted on Church Road, it was not a lot but is maybe a place to watch. A substantial amount of litter was noted on the footpath at the Tesco complex and more in the environs of Aldi. Your Road Manager initiative is an excellent idea and obviously is responsible for the cleanliness of the town in general, well done. The same point can be made regarding your Sunday village cleaning and other litter team work activities.
The recycling point in the Tesco car park is being maintained to a high standard as no litter or dumping or overflow material was noted, well done. Congratulations on your Recycling Day initiative carried out with WEEE Ireland. The school children are to be commended for their hard work in obtaining Green Flag Status and of course a big word of thank you to all volunteers who engage not only in litter picking but also in the segregation of litter for recycling. Your participation in the Annual National Spring Clean is noted. We wish you every success in the acquisition of your pooper-scooper bins for the town and other future plans.
The Bridge Project is an exciting and creative initiative and cannot be commended highly enough, it is one that might hopefully be repeated with the same success around the country, it could be the answer to the problem of graffiti! The overall appearance of Celbridge is one of tidiness, some stretches of weedy kerb were noted along Church Road however the problem here is not serious but just worth mentioning for the future. A number of incidental side areas and related untidiness were noted, again not a serious problem but property owners will need to be constantly reminded not to finish their efforts with the painting of their property but to look to the side and rear and curtilage area in general. Perhaps the worst aspect of untidiness was related to two service poles which looked quite bad, one was located on the footpath outside of Blakes Pharmacy and looked as if it had 101 service cables radiating out in every possible direction, certainly this adjudicator of 30 years standing with the TidyTowns Competition can never remember one this bad. A second one was located on the footpath between The Mucky Duck and the Village Inn premises. It is appreciated that this is outside of the control of the committee however representations can be made to those with the responsibility to at least check if all of the service cables are in use, one suspects that some of them are redundant.
Well done on your awards to residential areas for design, presentation and maintenance of their communal areas and gardens; It has obviously been a wonderful success as in all cases housing developments inspected were to a very high standard with colourful flower displays, maturing trees and neatly maintained green areas, given the number of housing estates in Celbridge this is no small achievement. The small group of semi-detatched 'hooded gable' dwellings on the entrance to Celbridge from the Maynooth road were most attractive and the colour scheme here works well, however some need to be painted to freshen their appearance.
Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
Approach roads to Celbridge were presented to a high standard in all instances, name plates are nicely presented and road and footpath surfaces and cycle lanes where these exist all look well. The adjudicator wonders if the high stone walls and the roadside façade of walls adjoining The Mill complex and heritage buildings could be cleaned as they look somewhat weather-stained, which is hardly surprising given their age and the volume of traffic through the town, perhaps this could be established. Street furniture looked well, most are in good condition and the stroll over pedestrian bridge was a pleasant experience. Street nameplates also looked well.
The adjudicator is impressed with the hard work, commitment and dedication of the TidyTowns committee and the community in general for the great work that has been achieved for Celbridge under quite difficult conditions and particularly in times of recession; we note the withdrawal of the Town Renewal Plan due to lack of funding and the implications of this for your service cables and poles and commisserate with you on this issue. However, this adjudicator suspects that the committee will not be deterred, we look forward to future visits to chart your progress.