Monday 21 October 2019

7km walkway from Ship Street to Mornington

Hubert Murphy

Louth County Council and their Meath counterparts are combining to provide a greenway between Drogheda and Mornington, the town section beginning at Ship Street.

What will be an iconic tourist and local recreational route, right along the Boyne, is progressing to the next stage after the preliminary design was presented to East Meath councillors last week.

Council officials have met with residents along the route and revealed that some gardens will be impacted and while a lot of people support the plan, they admit that 'engagement' is ongoing with some land owners who have 'significant concerns'.

A public consultation process will take place and they are encouraging landowners to attend and discuss any issues.

The scheme is almost 7km long and the majority is in Meath, apart from 2km around McManus Tyres.

Timber matting will be laid in the dunes to protect them in Mornington.

All the assessments in terms of impact on wildlife have been done,

Cormac Ross from Meath CC said he felt that Louth 'can see the benefits' of the route but given the nature of the project, two Part 8 planning applications will have to be lodged by the respective councils.

An application for funding has been submitted.

Cllr Paddy Meade said he was delighted to see that the Crook Road was being avoided due to flooding concerns, the council remarking that environmental issues had arisen there.

The councillor also expressed a fear that Louth might not 'look after their side', stating that he uses the Oldbridge boardwalk and 'the Louth side is often not maintained.'

While backing the project, Cllr Stephen McKee questioned the environmental impact and the role of the council so far.

'I don't think the engagement with the residents has been good and there's a lot to be done to persuade people.

'How can this end up in a residential area, how is it going past houses on the Tower Road. They have concerns and I support them,' he stated.

'Flooding is a risk there and it's prone to flooding.'

Cllr Sharon Tolan said she was surprised there was now talk about the route selection as they had been discussing the project for ages.

She felt the project act as a tourism boost but also a traffic management system for these roads. 'They are dangerous and this will solve that for all residents,' she remarked.

Mr Ross said that a survey had been carried out on birdlife as part of the design.

The consultants said some people were positive and it was a 'sensitive' issue for others but they will engage with them to 'reach an agreement.'

In terms of flooding, the new route won't add to the issues already there.

It was also stated that the Dungarvan greenway also passes houses.

Cllr Wayne Harding welcomed the projected and said fears expressed in Dungarvan did not happen.

Drogheda Independent