Thursday 14 November 2019

Bat survey halts vital new pathway

Donacarney/Bettystown route won't be starting anytime soon...

Hubert Murphy

Now that's just batty! A much needed footpath from the primary school complex in Donacarney into Bettystown is on hold - because of bats!

Meath CC were working on bringing the path to Part 8 planning and had checked with various departments, but discovered that a bat survey has to take place next March.

And a further study has to take place in June 2020 before it's completed.

In the meantime, they had met with residents and they must yet decide on CPOs for lands.

'It's outrageous the hoops we have to go through for this. I have nothing against bats,' he added, but says he's frustrated by the delays in the project.

He also wished that the path could be done without people losing their front gardens.

Paddy Meade was delighted to see an underpass included in the plans for cows. He said they walked the roads for years and it was wonderful to see the farmer accommodated.

In terms of houses and gardens, he asked could the road be shifted a metre or two to appease concerns.

Cllr Sharon Tolan was disappointed to see that a bat survey would be holding up a vital piece of infrastructure.

On the issue of taking gardens, she urged people to work with the council, adding that it was 'at the peril of children' that some people would not allow walls to be moved. 'Look at the bigger picture,' she stated.

Cllr Wayne Harding said the Colaiste na hInse campus had a problem with people not walking to school and that infrastructure was vital in line with population growth.

Cllr Sharon Keogan said it was 'ridiculous' that a bat survey was holding it up.

Christy Clarke said the council would be moving the roadway slightly to try and provide the footpath without CPO's.

Drogheda Independent