‘New A8 dual carriageway could be end of the road for Ballynure’

Ballynure resident, Nicholas Irwin.

Ballynure resident, Nicholas Irwin.

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BALLYNURE residents and business owners have claimed that the green light for the A8 dual carriageway project will signal the “destruction” of the village.

On Tuesday (May 1), Roads Minister Danny Kennedy gave the go-ahead for the £100million road upgrade scheme between Coleman’s Corner and Ballyrickard Road near Larne.

Residents and business representatives in Ballynure have campaigned against the huge scale of the project, particularly the proposed new section of the route by-passing the village to the west.

They have argued for minor improvements to the existing road instead of the £100million scheme which was approved this week.

A number of residents have told the Times they will fight to stop the work, scheduled to begin next month, and will consider taking the matter to the courts.

Some householders and farmers are faced with losing up to 20 acres of land. Nicholas Irwin said he could lose around five acres.

“This has come as no surprise to many of us, we always knew it would go ahead. If it does, that will be me - I’ll move away and there will be many others,” he said.

“It is not the value of the land that they are taking, it is the value of what you have left. Farmers will have their land split up and will have to use lanes for transport between sites. I’m a quarter-of-a-mile away from the road now, but it will be right beside me and I will also have waterworks and a lane though my land for others to use and no-one wants that.

“We have always said if there is the justification for the new road, then by all means do the work. But the cold hard facts have said there are fewer cars using the road and there is likely to be less - so what is the point?

“We are not finished yet and will continue the fight.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...