Standard of maintenance in Dromahair estates highlighted in Tidy Towns report

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Tidy Towns Adjudicator's Report for Dromahair.

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Dromhair is welcome to the National Tidy Towns Competition 2017. Thank you for your well documented and comprehensive application which included a completed form, photographs and coloured map, containing a numbered list of your projects. The photographs and maps were very much appreciated by the adjudicator and greatly facilitated the visit. Your partnership approach has proved very successful, involving Leitrim County Council and Leitrim Development Council, your local school and a myriad of local businesses and clubs. We note that, following a number of meetings with your members and other interested agencies, you have decided this year to particularly concentrate on three categories, namely the Built Environments, Wildlife and Natural Amenities and Sustainable Waste and Resource Management.

Your list of sponsors and support groups is impressive and we are pleased to hear that you engage with pupils and staff from your local school. Your promotions using local media, the website and Facebook obviously gets your message across effectively, as evidenced by the proposed publishing of results of Poster and Biodiversity competitions when concluded.

Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
The focus on regeneration and building conservation is admirable and the improvements at Pound House, with its pleasant colour scheme, look very well. The re-opening of the former restaurant, now Luna, was a very welcome achievement and this attractively presented restaurant was busy on the day of adjudication. This building has a nice painted ochre colour scheme and it contained a good quality, free standing, advertising sign, very much in keeping with the presentation of the building. The stone boundary wall, enclosing the forecourt, was nicely finished with a white painted coping capping to the wall. Once again the Blue Devon looked very well with grey and black colour
scheme finished with high quality, hand painted lettering and adorned with some colourful window boxes. At the centre, Stansford Inn, with its established creeper and line of Silver Birch trees along the boundary line, creates a lovely focal point in the village centre. The external seating area and presentation of outbuildings, on mature landscaped grounds, have a welcoming atmosphere and the overall presentation is a significant contribution to the context and its historical role within the village. We note your efforts at the former Abbey Manor Hotel and the Hostel and it is to be hoped that these buildings can be regenerated in the near future.

The ‘Tidy Towns’ Community presentation, at the corner shop, has an interesting window display and is a fine way of promoting your efforts, while enlivening a vacant shop front. Both churches are attractively presented and add considerably to the visual ambience of the village.

Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
The village is set in mature woodlands and this great asset of your location is an important consideration for your future planting and enhancement efforts. The identification of the Japanese Knotweed and its mapping is a considerable achievement and we wish you well with your endeavours to eliminate this problem. The cleaning of the site opposite the school was noted and the involvement of the school children in its redevelopment should have a good educational benefit. Elsewhere, a colourful array of planter tubs, tiered flower baskets, planted beds and window boxes were admired at locations on Main Street and at various incidental areas throughout the village.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
You are to be congratulated on receiving professional advice on the further development of this category from Rob Wheeldon, Wildlife Ranger and Tina Pommer, Archaeologist. The surveys here will be of great benefit when fully completed and will provide a greater understanding of the significance of your important habitats. The commencement of the wetlands clean-up at Lough Nahoo is encouraging and it is good to read that you had a thesis investigation on the merits of this location carried out a number of years ago. We are pleased to hear of the construction of additional bird boxes, the Bug Hotel and pollination beds to be further developed under this heading.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
The list of initiatives under this category is increasing and it is noted that your activities continue to expand with support from community groups and householders. Your Development Action Plan outlines an achievable list of objectives in this category and to date you have made progress in a number of areas. The Bring Centre was clean and well presented.

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
The power washing of the various walls and surfaces outlined is impressive practical work and the boundary painting at the Garda Station is a good illustration of this campaign. The previously mentioned painting of the cottage was excellent and a fine visual enhancement. The derelict site and vacant building survey, in conjunction with your Local Authority Engineers, is well worthwhile and should have significant long term benefits. It is to be hoped that the Breffni Cottage complex can be re-opened in the near future. Some historical trail signage needs to be refreshed, especially opposite Abbey Manor. Your litter campaign is obviously working well as the village was generally litter free except for small quantities scattered at the Riverside Park.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
There is a very attractive mix of small scale outhouses and adjacent new contemporary housing dispersed along ‘Back Line’ and these traditional buildings retain great character, historically important to your area. The contemporary designed, new housing schemes integrate well here and many stone boundary walls were admired.

The village has a large number of new schemes, ranging from Newtown Manor, Millbank, Rockvalley, Abbeyvale, The Acres across to Drumbase and Forest Grove and all were visited. The standard of maintenance was generally good if a little uneven in places. The promotion of competitions should prove to be of significant benefit to your campaign, help to promote this agenda and establish strong links with your residents. New planting at Millbank entrance looked well as did the Laurel hedging and sculpture at Millbank Glen entrance. Congratulations to Forest Grove on winning the best kept estate award.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
Well-constructed stone walls enclosing mature woodland are a significant inheritance in your environs and generally these atmospheric approach roads are presented to a good standard. This trend is continued along the ‘Back Line’, the area at the old school and Gilmore’s Cottage being a highlight. Well done on the power washing in the centre while being aware of water harvesting considerations. Planting at the village announcement signs has a welcoming atmosphere.

Concluding Remarks:
The Dromahair community is well aware of some of its problems resulting from the downturn in the economy in recent years. You have a focused approach to your renewal and regeneration efforts and the continued improvement schemes are testament to your successful working partnerships. Well done to all concerned.

                                                                  Max Marks                 2016 Marks              2017 Marks

Community Involvement & Planning                  60                                 47                            48

Built Environment and Streetscape                    50                                 40                            41

Landscaping and Open Spaces                          50                                 42                            42

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities             50                                 26                            27

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management    50                                 17                            18

Tidiness and Litter Control                                 90                                59                             60

Residential Streets & Housing Areas                   50                                 32                            33

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes                      50                                  35                            35

Total Marks                                                    450                                 298                          304

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