THE chairperson of the Northern Distributor Concerned Residents group has welcomed Limerick City and County Council’s decision, taken this Wednesday, to block the plans to build a distributor road which the group claims would divide the village of Parteen.
However, chairperson Ed English said that he wishes Clare County Council had also made the same decision last Friday, when they voted in favour of going ahead with the controversial Northern Distributor Road. The proposed route leads from Knockalisheen to Lisnagry.
He said that the council’s decision “highlights the poor planning and the poor thought” that have gone into the proposals. He added that if plans are put in place, it will create a “donut effect” in the region.
“There are people in our group who run small businesses in the city, and this is something that we have been saying since the route was planned, that the effect putting another ring around the north side of the city will only add to the problems in retail in the city centre,” he said.
“There are retail parks all around the outside of the city, and there is no reason to go into the city centre, from a retail point of view. Everything that you want to buy could be bought in one of the retail parks. That’s one of our main concerns,” he explained. Likewise, residents in Lisnagry and Annacotty have slammed the plans proposed by Clare County Council, saying that it would “freeze” the land, should it be passed in the future.
Mr English said that it would affect businesses, private property and farms in the area.
“There isn’t a time limit, to the best of my knowledge, on these route plans. And that route could sit on that map for 10 years and your business will be held back because you won’t get permission to do anything.”
Limerick City and County Council voted against the plans, 26 votes to three this Wednesday. Cllr John Gilligan, Cllr Joe Leddin and Cllr Frankie Daly were the three councillors who were in favour of the proposed plans.
Mr English, who said that he was “disappointed” with Clare County Council’s decision, said that they “will have to come back and have a major rethink” regarding the road plans.