Review questions planning boards refusal of Twin Towns Bypass

A Donegal County Council report has raised a number of question over the grounds used  An Bord Pleanala to refuse planning permission for the Stranorlar / Ballybofey bypass.

The review presented to Councillors yesterday took issue with almost all of the reasons the planning board gave for refusing the project and included options on how the bypass abp_logocan now be progressed.

An Bord Pleanala raised ten major concerns with the bypass mainly to do with road safety and environmental issues. The review, conducted by Council staff and McCarthy Hyder Consulting Engineers, found that in relation to most of the concerns raised by the board, they either could have been addressed with minor changes, were consistent with current NRA guidelines or where at odds with the boards own inspectors report.

The council received legal advice stating that there were good grounds for a judicial review of the decision, however it was determined that the process could last a year and half and had no guarantee of success.

Instead it is suggested that the council make ten changes to the plans and prepare a new Environmental Impact Study and CPO. However a new EIS will cost around 500 hundred thousand euro and it is not yet clear if the NRA will make that money available for it.

A council delegation will meet with NRA representatives in Mid December while a work shop for councillors to examine all option available will be held before a final decision can be made.