Attwood Approves Narrow Water Bridge
Environment Minister Alex Attwood today announced his decision to grant planning permission for a new bridge across the Newry River at Narrow Water near Warrenpoint.
The proposed bridge is another ‘Article 31’ – or major planning application - one in an ongoing series of large planning announcements being made by the Minister. The application has been made by Louth County Council and a separate application has been submitted in the Republic of Ireland.
The multi million investment will see a single carriageway cable stayed opening bridge across the Newry River tying into the existing A2 Roundabout and linking Co Down with Co Louth. The project is seeking £17.2million in funding through the Special EU Projects Body (SEUPB.)
Emphasising the benefits of the proposed development, the Minister said: "This will be a tremendous boost for the South Down/North Louth area. Narrow Water Bridge will be the most significant infrastructure project in the border region for many years. Indeed, it will be the first North South bridge since Partition. I hope that a similarly positive decision will come from planning authorities in the Republic soon in relation to the Southern end of the Narrow Water.
"I have stated time and time again around the scale and wonder of our built and natural heritage that there are big job opportunities. But to achieve this goal needs infrastructure - hotels, rural car parking, coastal development - a bridge in Narrow Water can very much be part of the strategy to help access to South Down and the Mournes, for trade and tourism, for visitors and families, to link up beautiful parts of our island.
"The bridge is an opening bridge that enables tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels access to the Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin in Newry. The bridge will act as a gateway to the Mourne and Cooley Mountains for people and tourists south of the border making it much easier for visitors travelling each way. It will be a great economic boost for the area, creating construction jobs in the short term, enhance tourism and promote greater community interaction across the border.
"As Environment Minister I want to protect the environment, and also do everything I can to create jobs and develop the economy.
"This is a major application known as an Article 31 application. There are many of these in the planning system and I promised I would be decisive in resolving the majority of them in the next few months - this decision further demonstrates that."