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Bridge objections revealed

Having recently failed to be short listed for European funding due to concerns relating to securing planning permission in time to meet the summer 2015 completion deadline, details of the objections that looked set to slow the Narrow Water bridge project down have been made public. The Reporter recently revealed that the bridge project had failed to make a short list of projects hoping to secure Interreg IV funding – a decision Louth County Council who are leading the Newry and Mourne District Council supported project said they would appeal. Should this appeal prove unsuccessful stakeholders in the project have said that they will apply for funding under Interreg V which is expected to call for applications in 2015. Indeed a special stakeholders meeting will take place in Warrenpoint Town Hall on Friday on the matter. Before the 2015 application is lodged stakeholders will hope to over come a range of objections which are listed on the planning service website and surmised as follows.


*Warrenpoint Harbour Authority  –  raised issues relating to situation, the provision of leading lights, increased traffic in the vicinity of the harbour.


*Carlingford Lough Commission – “We believe the approach road to the bridge on the southern side is at present being planned to pass between the two towers providing a transit for safe navigation of vessels proceeding up the Carlingford Lough into the narrow dredged channel leading for the five mile stretch from Killowen Pool towards


*Warrenpoint Harbour – As the Conservancy Body for the Lough with the responsibility for safe navigation we cannot permit a road in this permission and would have to take the strongest legal action to ensure it did not proceed as suggested.”


*Department of Regional Development – “A public navigation extends upstream of the proposed bridge. It is not clear how the proposals for the opening of the proposed bridge would be consistent with the requirement to maintain safe navigation.”


*Warrenpoint Golf Club – “The entrance to the roundabout from the Mound Road has very poor site lines and it is difficult to access safely. Any further increase in vehicular traffic will only exacerbate the problem.”


*The Commissioners of Irish Lights – “While we are not opposed to the proposal to construct a bridge at the proposed location it does appear that the preparation and particularly the Navigation Report was insufficient to capture some of the fundamental issues in relation to the safety of navigation. There is no mention of any proposed AtoN being installed on the new bridge to mark the navigable channel  for smaller vessels while the bridge is closed or to indicate when the bridge is fully open and safe for vessels to transit through or to indicate when the bridge is fully open and safe for vessels to transit through. The bridge design is such that they vessel Slieve Ban belong to Carlingford Lough Commissioners and being contracted to maintain the bouyage scheme within the Newry River up stream of Warrenpoint will be restricted in its ability to quickly respond to casualties should they arise.”

*Principal Landscape Architect M Miller – “Landscape Architect M Miller considers the proposed development unacceptable in landscape and visual terms. The bridge will visually dominate Narrow Water Keep and in our opinion that is unacceptable. The Environmental statement fails to include any locations further up stream that would not impact on the setting of the Keep and totally ignores the fact that there is another proposal for a bridge up stream that will perform the function of linking South Down and the Carlingford peninsula thus removing the need for a bridge at the location proposed.


*Roads Service – “Concerns have been raised in relation to the potential for queues of vehicles to pull up to build up on A2 approaches to the existing roundabout during periods when the bridge is raised to allow the movement of boats through  the lough. It is the department’s opinion that the proposed layout and measures indicated are not sufficient to mitigate the potential for road traffic collisions.”


Newry Reporter

18th April 2012