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Bridgend to Buncrana & Newtowncunningham Greenway

Historical Information


Please note that the project is currently in the process of separating from the North West Greenway Network. 


Donegal County Council intends to appoint technical consultants for this project in the coming months to build upon the work that has been completed to date and align the project to the national strategic greenway objectives and recently issued standards and codes of practice.  


Transport Infrastructure Ireland has been selected by government as the sanctioning authority to deliver on this commitment and TII has been very supportive of the delivery of greenways in Donegal and particularly in Inishowen to date.


The below information is for posterity only. 




22 April 2022 - Donegal County Council, in conjunction with its partner Derry City & Strabane District Council, continue to make progress towards finalising the documentation required to submit to An Bord Pleanála for statutory approval, to develop the Bridgend to Buncrana/Newtowncunningham section of the overall Derry-Buncrana greenway. While it had been the project's intention to submit this application in 2021, delays - primarily due to Covid-19 - prevented this from happening.


The Bridgend to Buncrana/Newtowncunningham section is now officially part of the wider Inishowen Greenway, which has been listed in the National Development Plan 2040 as a 'deliverable' in line with national government strategy. The first section of this route - a 2.7km stretch in Muff - will open to the general public in May, and will be officially launched in the summer. Once a timeline to submit the application for Bridgend is available, this will be made known to the general public through the project's social media channels. 



1 July 2021: Bridgend/Buncrana Route Update - In July 2019, the route corridor for the greenway linking Derry to Buncrana was published. Within the route corridor, particularly at Bridgend, Castletown/Fahan, Figary/Fahan and Magherabeg, localised design alignments were considered within the route corridor. These alignment options have now been finalised and the final alignment - within the route corridor - is now avaliable to download: Route 1 - Buncrana to Derry greenway.



14 June 2021 - Donegal County Council has confirmed that the planning application for the Buncrana to Bridgend section of Route 1, Buncrana-Derry, is on schedule to be submitted in 2021. The route corridor mapping will be updated over the coming days. To read more, go to Media Release - Council confirm 2021 planning application date.



11 March 2021 - The project team is now in its final engagement stage with landowners prior to completing the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) required as part of the planning application, which will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála during Q3, 2021.



8 October 2020 - The project team is currently engaging with landowners on specific sections of the greenway corridor, which was selected after an exhaustive process in 2018. Landowners in Bridgend, Burnfoot, Inch and Fahan have all met with the team to conclude design options at specific sections within the route corridor. Subject to Covid-19 restrictions and protocol, it is the team's intention to conclude this process by December 2020.



10 March 2020: Update on interaction with An Bord Pleanála - A recent newspaper article stated that Donegal County Council has been 'ordered' to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) for the Buncrana-Derry greenway. This is not true. Under the current Roads Act, the Project Team was required to seek 'formal direction' from the Bord to confirm that an EIAR was required, as the Team believed. Our full statement can be accessed here: 2020_EIAR was always to be commissioned .



22 November 2019: Pre-planning guidance sought from An Bord Pleanála - Donegal County Council has sought formal direction from An Bord Pleanála in respect of Route 1 Buncrana-Derry (with a spur to Newtowncunningham). Please note that this request is not the planning application for this route. The formal planning application will be submitted to the relevant authority no earlier than Q3 2020 and will be preceded by a further extensive round of public consultation.


It has been the Council’s opinion through the development of the project, further to consultations with NPWS, that the proposed greenway development may have significant impacts on the environment, and therefore requires a full Environmental Impact Assessment Report.  However in accordance with the provisions of the Roads Act, we are required to seek confirmation of this opinion by way of a formal direction from An Bord Pleanála.


Therefore, Donegal County Council has sought An Bord Pleanála’s formal direction as to the requirement to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report. We await their response, which is due on or before 3 March 2020.



How was the route corridor selected?


After carefully appraising a range of route corridor options against a number of key constraints, the preferred route corridor linking Derry to Buncrana has now been determined. The route, and the Route 1 - Preferred Route Corridor Selection Report July 2019, are now available below. Detailed drawings were displayed at Carndonagh Public Service Centre and online from Monday 29 July to 31 November 2020.


Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, the Project Team will look to convene a non-statutory Public Information event in Q1, 2021. Details of the emerging design proposals for the selected route corridor will be displayed at this event and people will have further opportunity to interact with the project team. It is possible that this event may only take place online. Further details to follow in due course.

While the ‘corridor area’ varies in width, the final alignment of the greenway will be within this corridor with an average width of 5m to 7m.


NWGN - Route 1 - Preferred Route Corridor Selection Report July 2019

Route 1 - Stage 2 Preferred Route Corridor

Route 1 - Preferred Route Corridor Map (July 2019)

NWGN Route 1 Appendix C - Public Feedback

NWGN Route 1 Appendix E - Preliminary Environmental Assessment

NWGN Route 1 Appendix F - Scoring Summary

NWGN Route 1 Appendix G - Report



June 2018 - as part of the route selection process, two consultation events were held jointly by Derry City & Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council. On Tuesday 26 June, the first event was held in the Lough Swilly Yacht Club, while the following day - Wednesday 27 June - the general public and landowners within the corridor of interest were also able to view plans in Templemore Sports Complex, Derry.


An additional consultation event was held in Fowler Hall, Tooban, on Thursday 7 February 2019. This event focused solely on the section linking Inch Island to Fahan (known as section 3 on the route options map below in the section called Drawings and Maps 2018). After carefully appraising a range of route corridor options against a number of key constraints, the final NWGN - Route 1 - Preferred Route Corridor Selection Report July 2019 was produced and is available above.


Map 3a (showing options linking Inch Levels to Fahan)

Map 3b (showing options through Fahan village) 


Some of the crowd in Fowler Hall on Thursday 7 February 2019 for the supplementary consultation event. 


If you have any queries, please contact the Communications Manager on [email protected].  



Historical Documentation


Route 1_Constraints Study and Route Options Report


The function of this report is to give an overview of the background to the project, placing it in the context of European, national and local policy guidelines which frame the scheme and the development of greenway infrastructure. The report identifies a study area and describes the constraints, opportunities and areas of interest within the study area that form the selection of a number of 'route corridor options'. Several assessment criteria are defined, with an explanation of how each route corridor is assessed against the relevant criteria.


Study area, route 1 - Buncrana to Derry

Route corridor options, route 1 - Buncrana to Derry


Within the Route corridor option map above, specific areas have more than one option. The plans below link to specific areas and show them in greater detail:


Section 1 - Bridgend, route 1 Buncrana to Derry

Section 2 - Inch Lake, route 1 Buncrana to Derry

Section 4 - Fahan Marina, route 1 Buncrana to Derry‌‌


Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Fahan. Some of the crowd that attended one of the consultation events for route 1, Derry to Buncrana

Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Fahan. Some of the crowd that attended one of the consultation events for route 1, Derry to Buncrana, which was held in June 2018.