Mallon grants consent for final part of Ballyclare relief road
Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has today (Tuesday) issued a Notice of Opinion to approve the final part of the Ballyclare relief road.
The Minister has decided that consent should be granted for the detailed design of the northern section of the relief road which is a further 2.3 kilometre section.
Minister Mallon said: “My Department has already granted approval for the southern part of the relief road and this is now under construction. This approval will now pave the way for the completion of the Ballyclare relief road.
“This scheme has the potential to deliver long-term benefits for commuters using the route by improving journey time and reliability as well as providing traffic relief for Ballyclare town centre by providing an alternative route for traffic.
“I also believe that it can unlock the potential to build much needed new homes on the western side of the town by acting as a catalyst in opening up the associated extensive housing zonings. I look forward to the applicant delivering this final section of the road so that these benefits can be realised.
The news has been welcomed by South Antrim DUP representatives Paul Girvan MP and Pam Cameron MLA.
In a statement issued to this newspaper, Mr Girvan said: “The decision by the Minister to recommend that permission be granted for the final section of the relief road in Ballyclare is a major step forward for Ballyclare and the surrounding villages.
“This decision ensures that our long running campaign to deliver this road in full, can now be realised. I have been working for many years alongside local campaigners to deliver this transformative project and I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to deliver this outcome.
“Traffic levels in Ballyclare town centre and Doagh have been a major issue for local residents for many years and I know that they will be delighted with today’s news.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication and will deliver huge benefits to the people and businesses of Ballyclare and surrounding villages.”
Mrs Cameron explained: I’m delighted that the final stretch of the Ballyclare relief road has now been granted consent by the Infrastructure Minister.
“This was a long awaited and hard fought for investment in our over congested local roads network in Ballyclare town. Significant progress has already been made with the southern section of the relief road and with today’s announcement I hope that it won’t be much longer until we see the full benefits of this major project upon it’s opening.”
Local Ulster Unionist Party representatives, including the Party Leader Steve Aiken OBE MLA, Cllr Vera McWilliam and Cllr Norrie Ramsay have welcomed the Infrastructure Minister’s decision.
Steve Aiken OBE MLA said: “This is good news for Ballyclare which will be welcomed by all who want to see an improvement in the chronic traffic situation and will help build the future of our wonderful town.”
Cllr McWilliam said: “This is welcome news after many years of campaigning. I know that it will be the cause of a great deal of happiness in both Ballyclare and the surrounding villages.”
Cllr Ramsay added: “We have been working for this development for many years now. The decision by the Minister is to be welcomed. We must now focus all our efforts on making swift progress and delivering this much needed infrastructure.”
Click here to read Ballyclare relief road update welcomed
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