Family says bypass of Ballaghaderreen has made their home ‘worthless’
Letter to NRA and council says run-off pond outside home was not in original drawings.
Originally posting on The Irish Times, July 21st 2014
A west of Ireland family has threatened legal action over the building of the Ballaghaderreen bypass in Co Roscommon. Just weeks before the road is due to open, the Butler family, who live at the Castlerea end of the 14km bypass, say it has made their home worthless. They claim a “run-off pond” opposite their house was not in the original plans and say plans for earthen mounds and 6ft-8ft fencing will further erode their amenity.
A Ballaghaderreen bypass was approved back in 2008, one of a series of measures to improve access through Roscommon to Co Mayo and the west. Ballaghaderreen is a particular pinch point for traffic, particularly HGVs, which have to navigate the town centre. The town is on the N5 route used by traffic between Dublin and Castlebar, Westport and Ballina – including Taoiseach Enda Kenny en route to his Mayo constituency.
In a letter to the National Roads Authority and the county council, Phil Butler said she was told the water run-off would be be piped away from her home and nearby houses. “Likewise, spoil has not been directed to the areas in which we were originally advised . . . [and] our property has been seriously devalued and we would contend it is unsaleable/worthless.”
The letter added: “Plans for the area appear to be modified from day to day with the impact on the residents of the area only being apparent when the works have been completed on a daily basis.”
An NRA spokesman said remedial works were being carried out to mitigate the intrusion of the new road. These included mounds to form a barrier to car headlights, landscaping, planting and fencing the pond. He said a new percolation area had been installed for the Butlers to cater for waste water from their home.
The spokesman said the design and build nature of the contract meant that the final location for the run-off pond may not be decided until the road was substantially complete. However Denis Naughten TD, who is mediating with the council for the family, said the situation had shown up a potential difficulty with such design-and-build contracts. “While there are some measures that can be mitigated, the authorities will not move the pond, which wasn’t in the original drawings shown to the Butlers. I think they have a valid complaint.”