An Bord Pleanála has given the green light for the N69 Listowel Bypass.
It’s to comprise a 5.95km western and northern bypass of Listowel town, linking the N69 Tralee Limerick road north and south of the town centre, and the R553 Ballybunion Road.
Kerry County Council had applied for approval to make Compulsory Purchase Orders for the land needed and also to extinguish 12 rights-of-way; it had also applied for planning permission for the entire project.
An oral hearing was held into the development in September, and An Bord Pleanala has now given it the go ahead, subject to four conditions.
Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil says approval of the Listowel bypass is very welcome but believes the council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland need to ensure it’s of maximum benefit to the town.
The oral hearing into the €40 million Listowel Bypass heard the project has the potential to create 135 jobs and be worth an additional €7.2 million to the local economy annually.
Concerns were raised at the three-day hearing by residents about the impact it’d have on their homes, particularly the severing of the Forge Road.
There are also fears for wildlife including barn owls, bats, whooper swans, and otters.
An Bord Pleanála has ruled the development would assist in alleviating traffic congestion in the town, wouldn’t have significant negative impacts on the community, landscape, archaeological and architectural heritage.
It also says the bypass wouldn’t seriously injure amenities or property, and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety.
It’s granted permission subject to four conditions, including that the Listowel Water Supply at the Scartleigh Intake be monitored six months before and after construction.
Before the road opens, Kerry County Council must put in place a traffic management and signage plan, and enhanced pedestrian and cycle access to/from the new proposed entrance to the Sive Walk.