Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said there is significant disappointment at the news that works on the Clonbeg Bridge in Aherlow are being held back until at least 2020. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Tipperary County Council District Engineer confirmed that the consultant engineering firm appointed by Tipperary County Council to provide the design of the replacement bridge at the Clonbeg site has confirmed a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) was required for the works before it could proceed:
“We know that the Department of Transport recently allocated €235,000 towards the replacement of Clonbeg Bridge. It was hoped that this would have allowed the works to begin this month.
It is now the case however that an application to An Board Pleanala is being required.
Under section 177AE of the Planning and Development Act 2000, an application of this kind means it is similar to other planning applications in that a planning notice must be published in the print media and a site notice erected.
The plans will go on public display and statutory bodies need to be notified.
As I understand it; in the coming weeks a planning application will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala, however it is currently taking up to six months for An Bord Pleanala to provide a decision on applications.
The District Engineer has concluded therefore that it will be at least 2020 before the Clonbeg Bridge works are even started,” said Deputy McGrath.