Any planning failure for realignment works on the Cloongullane bridge between Swinford and Foxford would be a ‘travesty for Ballina and north Mayo’.
That’s according to Ballina-based Cllr Gerry Ginty (Ind) who was reacting to news that An Bord Pleanála have delayed a decision on the application for realignment works at the bridge until they receive more information from Mayo County Council.
It was expected that works would commence in the first half of this year. The realignment works are a crucial part of the N26 improvement works, the main road from Ballina to Dublin.
“It looks like the project has stalled again. The whole proposed N26 hinges on this bridge being done. If it fails it would be a travesty for Ballina and north Mayo,” said Cllr Ginty at last week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.
“We are one of the few areas where we have such a big town – Ballina being the third biggest in Connacht – and such a poor entrance road. It will affect people coming to shop in the town and doing business in the town,” he added.
Mayo County Council Director of Services Tom Gilligan said An Bord Pleanála wrote to Mayo County Council requesting further information in relation to the council’s Natura Impact Statement – the environmental impact assessment needed for such works in Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). The bridge crosses the River Moy SAC.
He said the council have until January 31 to reply.
“It is disappointing. We were all expecting a positive decision but we must stress the application has not been turned down. We are working to provide that information to An Bord Pleanála as soon as possible,” said Mr Gilligan.