Home owners affected by bypass to meet Transport Minister

Questions of compensation for those in negative equity to be raised

Questions over compensation for home owners in negative equity, whose homes are to be demolished by the new N6 Galway City Transport Project route, will be raised at a meeting in Leinster House next week.

Representatives of the close to 200 home owners affected by the proposed new N6 Galway City Transport Project route will meet with the Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe, following a request from Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish.

The new route ties into the existing R336 at a roundabout west of Barna; travels over the N59 at Dangan; will cross the River Corrib via a new bridge structure; and connect with the N84 and the N17 via a tunnel. However 41 homes are to be demolished to make way for the route, while another 150 lie very close to it. As a result, the 191 home-owners have expressed grave concern on, what Dep Grealish calls, the "enormous effects the new road would have on their lives".

"The Minister will only be getting the ‘official side’ of the issue from his officials," said the Carnmore based TD. "He would not have heard some of the issues that are worrying residents."

Among the main concerns is the question of the level of compensation for those who are in negative equity. Some of the houses were built or bought at the height of the boom, with "huge mortgages on them", said Dep Grealish. He added that even if the houses were sold or had a compulsory purchase order placed on them now, or in two years time, the owners "might only get half what they paid for them originally".

Another major issue is the devaluation of houses, not due to be demolished, but which sit next to the route of the proposed roadway. Concern has been expressed by some of these householders that homes, which could be worth up to €500,000 would plummet to €100,000 if a major roadway is running right next to them. However, unless the road is infringing on a person's property, they do not come in for any compensation package whatsoever,” said Deputy Grealish.

“These people must be heard also and must be listened to as they are the people who will be most affected, along with those set to lose their homes, if this route does go ahead," said Dep Grealish. “We need to know clearly from the Minister what alternatives are being discussed and what other options are being looked at."

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