Appeal being considered after Belfast High Court judge blocks planned A5 upgrade

a5The North's Regional Development Minister says he will meet with executive colleagues later this week to discuss whetjher or not to appeal a High Court order quashing the decision to go ahead with the A5 dual carraigeway project.

Last month, Mr Justice Stephens indicated he was minded to grant the order sought by the Alternative A5 Allliance on the basis that an assessment required under the Habitats Directive was not carried out.

Today, he confirmed that decision.

The Department for Regional Development asked for time to carry out the assessment today, but the judge refused, agreeing only to a limited delay because of the potential for an appeal.

He also awarded legal costs to the alliance.

In a statement this afternoon, regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said today's ruling is disappointing, and his key priority now is to consider the merits of appealing, and to find a resolution to this situation as quickly as possible.

He said the issue will be discussed by the executive on Thursday.

Responding to today's decision, Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said all necessary steps must now be taken to get the building of this new road up and running.

He said the completion of the A5 will help to rebalance the infrastructural deficit west of the Bann and create hundreds of jobs during its construction.