The minutes of the February meeting of the Ballina Municipal District were amended at its May meeting, which took place last Friday in the Ballina Arts centre.
Independent Cllr Seamus Weir proposed changing the minutes of the previous meeting, as he felt they did not accurately reflect the decision made by the councillors in respect to a proposed 50 unit social housing development at Rehins Fort on the Foxford Road. Cllr Weir wanted the minutes amended to say that two conditions were agreed at the meeting; that a new permanent access road be constructed to the the site and that the site entrance via Rehins Fort be closed off permanently, prior to the start of construction.
However the head of the municipal district for the council, Declan Turnbull, said he felt the minutes of the meeting did not need to be amended as they reflected the intention of the members that the new access road would be constructed if possible, but if it wasn't possible, the proposed project would still go ahead; he feared that Cllr Weir's amendment would see the whole project fall if the new access road was not possible to be constructed.
Almost an hour of debate took place amongst the councillors and council officials on the topic - before the elected members adjourned and worked out a wording, agreed by the majority of elected members, to say that the planning was agreed subject to negotiations taking place with all relevant third parties to endeavour to put in place a permanent access to the site.
There were also concerns raised by a number of councillors over the wording of Cllr Weir's initial amendment in closing off the access between the existing estate and the proposed new development, with a number of councillors saying they did not want to see a wall being built to keep the two estates separate, and that other solutions such as bollards could be looked at that would stop traffic flow between them - but would still allow movement.