N55 upgrade not affecting many planning applications

Westmeath County Council’s project engineer for the N55 realignment between Athlone and Ballymahon says relatively few planning applications in the area have been affected so far.

A total of five options were identified last year for use during the realignment last year and the corridor of land around these options means that planning applications for houses or other development can be subject to objections.

It had been hoped that a final option would be identified this month and that would have freed up some of the land over which question marks remain.

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But a council meeting was told last week that the identification of that route would not happen now until July at the earliest.

Westmeath council has issued an official statement this week, stating the delay is down to various reasons, including the high level of constraints due to rich archaeology of the area and the difficulty in recruiting staff needed to carry out these kinds of reports and inspections.

Anne Marie Corroon, a project engineer with the council, says they appreciate the inconvenience caused to people affected by the scheme, but she says so far there’s been little interference with planning applications in the area.