At this month’s Louth County Council meeting, Director of Services Frank Pentony gave members an update on the three applications Louth County Council had made to central government for funding under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation fund.
Drogheda Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood said:
“We were advised that two applications were successful, one for works at Twenties Lane and one for housing on The Marsh Road, but that one, the application for the Port Access Northern Cross Route (PANCR) was not successful.
“Given recent press statements made by a government T.D. on this matter I sought clarification on this. The response was clear. No funding was made available and the Port Access Northern Cross Route construction will not start any time soon.
“Every resident of Drogheda knows that the PANCR is a vital piece of infrastructure needed to take the heavy goods vehicles out of our town centre and to alleviate the traffic congestion. Deputy Imelda Munster and I included the PANCR in our submission for Drogheda to the National Planning framework to again highlight the need for this vital piece of infrastructure that is essential for Drogheda to develop its full potential.
“My fear is that Louth County Council are going to repeat the mistakes of the past and allow houses to be built without a clear plan. The PANCR should be in place to support them. That has already started to happen.
“In 2008 an An Bord Pleanála ruling for 314 Houses on the Termonfeckin Road stated ‘In accordance with Objective PANCR 1 of the North Drogheda Environs Master Plan 2006, other than with the prior written agreement of the planning authority, no development shall commence on the site until Implementation Objective IO 1 is in place. This shall provide inter alia for the following: (i) the design and construction of the Northern Cross Route from the R132 to the R166 as a single contract, (ii) construction of the Northern Cross Route from the R166 to the port at Drogheda.’
Cllr Flood explained “But recently a new planning application (Ref 16900) for the same site was submitted and passed before the any movement has happened on the PANCR.
“There is no time frame or set plan for when the PANCR will reach the Termonfeckin Road and this means that 63 houses will be built, culminating in a total of 314 houses will go ahead without the PANCR being built, with only one way in and out, onto the Termonfeckin Road and will increase the traffic burden on the already over developed and under supported North East part of our town.
“A playground in the original 2008 planning permission was also removed from the amended planning application and there is no plan to connect the footpath from the new development to nearby Termon Abbey. I intend to appeal this decision to An Bord Pleanála, along with local residents who fear that they will not be able to enter or exit their estates on the Termonfeckin/Newfoundwell Roads with the increase in traffic.
“Houses are needed, but so is the infrastructure to support them. Plans are only good, like the plan for the PANCR, if they are followed through on.”