Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today reaffirmed her commitment to progressing the A5 Western Transport Corridor (A5WTC) scheme.
The Minister was speaking as she publishes the new Environmental Statement Addendum and associated documentation as the next vital steps for the progression of the scheme.
Minister Mallon said:
“The A5 is an absolute priority for me as a strategic road. It will critically improve road safety, tackle regional imbalance, contribute to economic growth and job opportunities for local communities, and improve connectivity on this island. I know this project has been long awaited and I have been determined as Minister to see it progress through the statutory processes as quickly as possible, ensuring the project is delivered.
"The Public Inquiry on the A5WTC scheme of March 2020 led to the publication of an Interim Report from the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) in September 2020. After careful consideration of that report, I published, in March of last year, an Interim Departmental Statement that set out the way ahead for the scheme. I accepted the PAC’s key recommendation regarding the preparation of and consultation on further documents on the important topics of flood risk and the consideration of alternatives to the proposed scheme. As such, I asked officials to prepare a further addendum to the Environmental Statement for consultation.
"I am today publishing this new Environmental Statement Addendum and associated documentation, including a new draft Vesting Order required to mitigate environmental impacts, and updated reports relating to the Habitats Directive for the scheme. This commences a consultation process that is open until 6 May 2022.
"I would encourage anyone with an interest in this significant project to view the relevant documentation and make their views known during this consultation period.”
Notes to editors:
- The documentation is available on the scheme website A5WTC.com or it can be viewed during normal working hours at County Hall in Omagh and the Library Building in Strabane. On receipt of all representations made during this consultation process, the PAC will be invited to reconvene the public inquiry later this year. This should enable the PAC to consider all the public representations made and prepare its final report.
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