“All lands will be frozen until a route is chosen and accepted by the council,” was the stark reality that senior engineer for Mayo County Council, Noel Burke, told members of the Ballina Electoral Area this week. The members of the committee had been debating the issue of the new Crossmolina bypass which has caused plenty of debate in the area over the past number of months. When the route chosen by the council executive for the proposed new bypass was rejected by the council, all potential routes and lands around them were frozen for development.
“The people in Crossmolina don’t want the bypass and people who want to give their son or daughter a site, they can’t because all the lands are frozen around all the routes something has to be done about,” Cllr Eddie Staunton told the meeting. Cllr Seamus Weir backed up his Fine Gael party colleague, telling the meeting that he has got plenty of calls from people about this issue, and that it is completely unfair that people’s lands are being frozen across all the potential routes.
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly told the meeting: “Crossmolina doesn’t really need a full bypass and maybe we could look at more modest ways of bypassing the town using roundabouts. The only problem with the route chosen was the bypass of the town itself and where it goes, could we not do the road as far as there?”
Mr Burke told the members: “This became a problem when the route wasn’t accepted by the council and then all the routes were put back on the table. You’re not going to get anywhere on this until a route is chosen. This shouldn’t have been a surprise to people because there was a long consultation period entered into and everyone was notified.”
Cllr Michelle Mulherin told the meeting that she thinks the real nub of the issue is that there were four routes advertised yet the council went for a fifth route, and both the councillors and the people feel like they were left out of the decision.