Legal action over the Ardee bypass?
QUESTIONS RAISED OVER FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT TO THE BOG
THERE are fears that the community group behind environmental concerns with the new Ardee bypass will lodge an objection to it.
However, Louth County Council remains determined to start the project before the end of the year, as it says permission was given over a decade ago for the road.
ENGINEERS say that excessive changes to plans for the Ardee bypass could lead to ‘substantial delays’ in the project.
Consultants working on behalf of Louth CC - responding to a July 2018 submission by the Mullanstown / Coole Community group - say that the project could go to tender by the end of this year, all going to plan.
In a 57-page report, they say the plan for the bypass was approved by An Bord Pleanala as far back as 2006.
‘Changes that are fundamental to the design or require lands that fall outside the CPO boundary or result in changes that will require further assessment of impacts cannot be incorporated into the permitted scheme and will require planning permission in accordance with current legislation.
‘Any changes that require planning permission and CPO will therefore delay the project by a substantial period. Typically 15 to 18 months minimum would be required for a small scheme that involves a CPO process, and the potential for an Oral Hearing to be called should the CPO process raise objections by landowners,’ they state.
The community group didn’t want cul de sacs on present roads and outlined a number of ideas, such as bridges and underpasses to allow continued and uninterrupted access to local businesses on the Mullenstown Road and Ardee Celtic FC.
But the consultants believe that the approved junction types are sufficient, based on updated traffic figures, including pedestrian and cycle counts, and that the proposed junctions are safe, appropriate and adequate for the volumes of traffic during the design life of the road.
The proposed N52 Ardee Bypass scheme is approximately 4.5km in length, providing a bypass to the west of the town and removing N52 through traffic from the congested Castle Street. The proposed scheme will be a Type 2 single carriageway and will comprise of six road junctions, including a proposed roundabout on the N2. The scheme will also include two river bridge structures, over both the River Dee and Garra River.
In ruling out the community group’s appeal for an underpass, they confirmed that the area is ‘prone to flooding’ and ‘an underpass is not practicable as a tanking and pumping system would be required to manage surface water drainage as there are no watercourse outfalls available at the level required for an underpass.’
In relation to a suggestion of a roundabout, they state ‘a roundabout junction would also increase the rate of collisions. Both the additional journey time and potential for additional collisions would reduce the benefits of the scheme, thus impacting on the cost benefit ratio and potentially could weaken the business case for the scheme and impact on the funding approval for the scheme.’
They say a traffic signal junction would also increase the rate of collisions.
It is feared new Ardee bypass will have an impact on bogland.
Signs have been erected around the Coole area