Landowners ‘very concerned’ over Galway ring road plan

The proposed plan to construct a ring road around Galway city has some farmers and landowners “very concerned” over the disruption it may cause to their enterprises.

Speaking to AgriLand, one farmer in the affected area said that the road, as well as the construction process, will “totally change the landscape and dynamic of the area”.

The dairy farmer, who didn’t want to be named, is based just on the outskirts of the city – right in the proposed path of the new road.

“It’s going to completely disrupt my business,” he commented.

He added that he intends to object to the plans and he believes other farmers will “do the same”.

I’m in the process of launching an objection. I imagine there will be a lot of objections.

His comments come after An Bord Pleanala released their Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which looks at, among other things, how farmers and landowners will be affected.

The report identifies 195 land parcels that will be impacted, not only by the road itself, but also the construction process, which An Bord Pleanala believes will last 36 months.

In its report An Bord Pleanala lists the below enterprises based on “levels of sensitivity” to the project :

  • Stud farm or equestrian centre – high to very high;
  • Dairy farm and intensive equine enterprises – high;
  • Non-dairy grazing livestock enterprises and grass cropping enterprises – medium;
  • Tillage – medium;
  • And rough grazing, bog, forestry, woodland – low to very low.

However, the farmer also emphasised that he is not fully opposed to the idea of the road, as he acknowledged that Galway’s traffic problem needs addressing.

“The road has to go somewhere. I know what it’s like to drive in around the city,” he said.

Impact

Meanwhile, Roy O’Brien, regional development officer for the Galway and Mayo branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), accepts that farmers are concerned. However, he said that initiatives like this “are never easy”.

No matter what infrastructural project is put in place, there’s always going to be huge effect on commercial activities. That impact is always going to be a problem.

O’Brien acknowledges that farmers saw “huge disruption” while the M6 motorway was being constructed. He added that they will want to avoid the same thing happening now.

He highlighted that one of the main concerns for farmers and landowners is that a “reputable firm” gets the contract to minimise disruption.

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