AN BORD Pleanála has deferred a decision on Meath County Council's controversial plan for a 3.5km bypass of Slane village.
The N2 Slane Bypass would take traffic off the existing Dublin-Derry road via a new dual carriageway to the east of the village crossing the Boyne over a new 216m concrete bridge.
The planning board had been due to make a decision on the project this week.
However, a board representative has confirmed that the matter has been put back and is now due to be decided by August 30th.
Earlier this year an 18-day oral hearing on the impact of the project heard evidence from more than 30 witnesses, including world heritage expert Dr Douglas Comer.
The council and local residents say the bypass is needed to improve safety in Slane
Twenty-two people have died in road crashes there over the years.
Opponents of the bypass claim the project, especially the concrete bridge, would spoil views into and out of the Brú na Bóinne site which includes Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.
The objectors also claim the bypass could endanger the area's status as a world heritage site.