Infrastructure Minister invited to visit Larne West by link road campaigners

The DUP seeking a meeting in Larne with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd to discuss steps to progress a  link road in the west of the town.

The DUP insists that it remains the responsibility of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI)  to “look at starting proceedings for compulsory purchase of the land so that this important part of Larne’s infrastructure can be completed”.

However, the DfI has stated that the missing section is a “private development issue”.

Elected representatives are calling for the development of a stretch of land at the bottom of the Ballyloran link road in a bid to improve traffic flow in the area.

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    Larne West link road

    In  a statement, East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson said:”This is an ongoing problem which has prevented development in Larne West, caused huge traffic congestion at Linn Road and Donaghy’s Lane and has increased the flow of traffic through the housing areas of Millbrook.

    “Hundreds of families have ten or 15 minutes added to their journey to Belfast every day and since no commercial solution has been found to the problem, it now remains the responsibility of the Department for Infrastructure to look at starting proceedings for compulsory purchase of the land so that this important part of Larne’s infrastructure can be completed.”

    The Department has been called on to intervene previously through a Mid and East Antrim Council motion.

    However, a letter received by the local authority from then Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon stated the construction of the Larne West distributor road is the “responsibility of the developers of the adjacent lands”.

    Unfinished Stretch

    She said: “The unfinished stretch of road has planning approval and is ‘determined’ for adoption by the Department after construction.

    “It is therefore the responsibility of the developers to reach agreement to allow this link to be completed.”

    It was also stated: “The planning approval grant for further housing in this area is conditioned to provide additional transportation infrastructure.

    “These road improvements including Donaghy’s Lane and Antiville Road will assist traffic movements and progression in this area.”

    A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said: “The principle for construction of the Larne West Distributor Road is set out in the Larne Area Plan as a developer-led road. The missing section of road is a private development issue and responsibility for finding a resolution rests with the developers.”

    Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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