South Down MLA Sinead Bradley said has raised the fight once again to try and progress the building of the Narrow Water Bridge. The campaign has stalled by there are still strong feelings in South Down and in County Louth and within the community and political parties supporting this initiative.
Sinead Bradley said: “The proposal to have a bridge at Narrow Water has widely been accepted as a project that will achieve significant economic gains while uniting communities.
“I was bitterly disappointed, however, during the last Executive when Chris Hazzard as Minister of Infrastructure excluded the project from his priorities for funding. That decision was then compounded when there was no safeguard put in place to protect planning permission for the project which was due to expire shortly after he left office.
“Since that time I have held a series of meetings with senior officials from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and Louth County Council to ensure the complex Planning Permission would not be allowed to lapse.
“I am pleased to see the start of substantial works taking place on the North side of the site which will include the placement of three deep culverts. It is anticipated this work will take three to four weeks. I can also report that I have been assured the planning permission has not been compromised.
“In recent weeks I have continued to hold high level discussions around the profile of the project, particularly in the context of Brexit. I’ve had discussions with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the Permanent Secretary within the Department for Infrastructure. I also requested that DfI consider contributing, in some way, to the ongoing site works as an expression of a renewed commitment to the project.
“I, like many locals, and the Narrow Water Community Bridge Network, remain determined to ensure commitment for the Narrow Water Bridge project is not just recorded but also prioritised for funding.
“The substantial gains that will be afforded to our local communities across South Down are all the motivation we need to continue in our work to ensure a bridge is built at Narrow Water,” added Sinead Bradley.
Hazzard Responds To Bradley Comments
South Down MP Chris Hazard said: “The Narrow Water Bridge project is of crucial importance to the economic and social regeneration of South Down, Newry and the border area of Louth.