AN BORD Pleanála has approved a compulsory purchase order and granted permission for a major road linking the M1 north of Drogheda with Drogheda port.
The 5.6km €60 million Port Access Northern Cross Route will also open up access to a 254-hectare land bank. It is intended that the land will become a new town on the north side of Drogheda, with a population of 20,000.
The bulk of the land is owned by the North Drogheda Environs Group consortium whose members include Euro Construction and Manor Park Homes.
Last October the council entered into a legal agreement with the group over the provision of €141 million of infrastructure as well as more than 7,000 new homes in what the group has named "Sienna Valley". The road is to be paid for by the developers.
General manager of Sienna Valley Tony Kearon said permission had been secured for 2,400 residential units. More would be needed to justify starting the road, he said, and work could not start on the homes until the road was built. Mr Kearon hoped permission would be granted this year.
"The promoters are wholly committed to Sienna Valley which is based on long-term growth in the population base," he said. "Given the current turbulence in the property and mortgage markets, the precise timeframe for the roll-out of Sienna Valley is likely to be longer than originally planned."
The road is expected to remove about 3,000 trucks from the centre of Drogheda. It will link the port to the old Drogheda-Dundalk Road at the M1 roundabout north of the Boyne cable bridge.
The Irish Times