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Monday 26 August 2019

Motorway opponents angry that plans outlined again

CONTROVERSIAL INCLUSION IN COUNTY DEVELOPMENT PLAN

SAOIRSE MCGARRIGLE

RESIDENTS living along the preferred route for the Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour motorway were shocked this week to discover that the motorway, which they had come to believe was a far distant reality, was described as a 'proposed national road scheme' in a recent Council publication.

Reference to the proposed motorway was included in the draft County Development Plan 2013-2019.

The plan is a detailed account of the Council's objectives for the next six years and was unveiled last Monday, 11 July, for public viewing at the different County Council buildings throughout the County.

Under the transportation heading, the Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour motorway was listed as one of five 'proposed national road schemes' in County Wexford.

This has sparked debate from the main opposition group to the motorway, the Joint Committee of Communities. The committee was formed almost two years ago as a result of a series of public meetings when the prospect of building the motorway first came to the fore.

Michael Carroll, Chairperson of the JCC, speaking on behalf of the group last week said that he was 'absolutely horrified' when he discovered that the proposed motorway was included in the County Development Plan.

He said that he believes there is 'simply no money to build the road for the next 30 odd years' and therefore there was 'absolutely no reason it should be included' in this more short term projection for development of the county's infrastructure.

The group argue that this latest move on the part of the County Council creates a situation, whereby those living along the preferred route are affected by planning restrictions.

They outlined the same concerns in 2011 when they issued the following plea: 'People's lives will be put on hold indefinitely and will be destroyed due to severe planning restrictions if a preferred route is announced and the project is not advanced to completion.' The JCC has coined the term 'planning freeze' to desrcibe these restrictions which residents are allegedly affected by.

A preferred route was announced in July of last year despite their concerns. Afterwards, there seemed to be no further developments in relation to the proposed motorway until this week when it was referred to in the County Development Plan.

Wexford County Council declined to comment when contacted with a view to clarifying planning restrictions in place along the preferred route.

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