Minister will not appeal A5 High Court ruling

Part of the area where the new A5 dual carriageway would have been built
Part of the area where the new A5 dual carriageway would have been built

Roads Minister Danny Kennedy says he will not appeal a High Court decision to quash plans to proceed with the £330million A5 dual carriageway.

“I have considered the very complex legal and procedural matters at length upon receiving detailed legal advice. It is my intention to accept the ruling of Mr Justice Stephens and therefore I have decided not to appeal,” Minister Kennedy said this morning.

He continued:”“The Judge took the view that a fuller assessment of the impact of the A5 proposals on the rivers Foyle and Finn Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) should have been carried out. I now intend to have a more comprehensive assessment conducted. When this is completed I will consider the matter further.

“It is important that the outcomes of any new assessment are not pre-judged and therefore I cannot provide any further detail at this time regarding timescales other than to say that there will be substantial delay.

“My officials will seek to engage with landowners to carefully work through the next steps in relation to land issues.

“I am conscious of the impact of delay to this significant roads project on our local construction industry and therefore I will engage with the Executive to see how finance may be best deployed this year to support local jobs.

“Given the delay, it is important that other schemes that may be in a position to be progressed ahead of the A5 are given full consideration by the Executive.

“Therefore I intend to bring forward an Executive paper detailing other options such as moving forward with procurement on other possible schemes.”

The construction on two stretches of the proposed route between Derry and Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone formed part of a cross-border scheme to develop a new transport corridor between Dublin and the north west of Ireland.