Wednesday 18 October 2017 01:16:50 AM

Rogers Welcomes Publication of South East Coast Masterplan
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SOUTH Down SDLP MLA Seán Rogers has expressed his concern that Roads Service appear to have no focused plans in place to help promote the objectives of the South East Coast Masterplan.

Following a question answered by the Minister for Regional Development on 10 July 2013, the South Down SDLP MLA was disappointed to learn that no specific works or schemes are planned to aid the implementation of the Masterplan proposals.

At the launch of the South East Masterplan in Kilkeel last year were John McArddle, Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, DSD MInister Nelson McCausland, and Down District Council Chairman Councillor Mickey Coogan.

At the launch of the South East Masterplan in Kilkeel last year were John McArdle, former Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, DSD MInister Nelson McCausland, and former Down District Council Chairman Councillor Mickey Coogan.

Mr Rogers said: “I had hoped public sector services such as Roads Service would have developed a more proactive approach when considering the proposals launched in the South East Coast Masterplan”.

“The plan commissioned by the Department of Social Development and both Newry and Mourne and Down District Councils gives guidance on the future strategic development of the area over the next 20 years.    It is hoped that this plan will direct public and private investment to those areas that will most benefit local people, support local business and commerce and contribute to the long term viability and vitality of town centres.

“In order for these proposals to be deliverable there is a need for improvement to the roads infrastructure.  Last Winter Spelga was blocked with snow and the Rostrevor Road was also blocked due to a landslide leaving only one route into and out of the Mournes.

“Surely the infrastructure needs to be upgraded in advance of such proposals.  I fully support the ethos of this plan and am encouraged to see it on paper but hope that the roads issue can be given some serious consideration sooner rather than later.

“I have made representations to the Minister calling for such investment in light of the slippage funding in respect of the A5 delays,” added Mr Rogers.