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Clarity sought on Mell Walkway delay in Louth

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When writing to the Council enquiring further about the details of the project, Cllr Smith said, "I got two different answers to questions I put in."

When writing to the Council enquiring further about the details of the project, Cllr Smith said, "I got two different answers to questions I put in."

When writing to the Council enquiring further about the details of the project, Cllr Smith said, "I got two different answers to questions I put in."

droghedaindependent

A local councillor is seeking answers over the dealy to the proposed Mell Walkway.

The project, which was initially granted €200k in 2021 has failed to come to fruition.

Writing to the Council asking for further about the details of the project, Cllr Pio Smith said, "I got two different answers to questions I put in. I put in one in January this year, and another one recently, and they don’t coincide.

"I was told that a Natural Impact Statement needed to be done, but we were told in January that it was done and that it would take six months for concrete work to take place. And six months later we’re told that that was only done in May.

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"In my view, something is not adding up here. And I know local TD’s have raised this issue too, but certainly when it comes to infrastructure on the next agenda, I want to see a full report and tell us exactly in detail what is going on.”

Senior Engineer for Louth County Council, Mark Johnson said, “We’ve had difficulty getting it moving and advancing it as quickly as we’d like. We had to change the project a couple of times – shorten it.

"There is land there that we don’t know who exactly owns – that we thought we could put a footpath on, and now that we know it’s not registered, we’re just not sure and we can’t just go ahead as we once thought.

"We had to pivot and go to a different option. Once we are at option B then it is the situation of, ‘does it need screening.’ It’s very close to an SSE and an SPN, so we will have to go and get an ecologist.”

He explained that ecologists are difficult to get a hold of, "you can’t just pick these guys up next week. There’s five of them we contact regularly, I can guarantee four of them won’t even answer your calls. And the one that does, it takes them some time to actually do the reports and screenings.

"The INS is finished and needs to be sent to An Bord Pleanala, but there are another series of reports that need to be done. Going to An Bord Pleanala is effectively planning permission. You may as well do the full sweep of drawings etc.”


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