Five properties to be demolished to make way for A6 Randalstown to Castledawson dual carriageway

Work has begun on the Magherafelt bypass near the Castledawson round-about.INMM0315-384
Work has begun on the Magherafelt bypass near the Castledawson round-about.INMM0315-384
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Around 120 landowners will have to hand over buildings, homes, gardens and stretches of farm land to make way for the new A6 Castledawson to Randalstown dual carriageway.

The land, which will be obtained by the Department of Regional Development under a compulsory purchase order, has already been earmarked and a draft vesting order has been drawn up.

There are still issues to resolve and we will work with land owners to resolve these.

Project Manager, Andrew Hitchenor

A total of 122 landowners will be affected, five properties will be demolished while 30 plots/properties will be affected as well as 87 farmers.

The project’s manager, Andrew Hitchenor, said: “We recognise that land has been in families for generations and nobody is going to want to lose that.

“When we first came along there was objections, hence we went to public enquiry to air those. The general feeling is there is more acceptance of it now.

“There are still issues to resolve and we will work with land owners to resolve these.”

It is thought the new A6 road may cut through some working farms, and that at least one home - a bungalow - will face the bulldozer. But Mr Hitchenor said every landowner affected will be compensated.

As well as this, he said there will also be some environmental constraints placed on the project in relation to the Whooper and Bewick’s swans that come from Iceland to nest in various parts of Northern Ireland, including the ecologically important wetlands around Lough Beg, in winter.

In order to minimise impact on the protected ‘Amber list’ species, Mr Hitchenor said they have been monitoring the swans for some time and when drawing up plans for the road, have stayed out of their extensive grazing areas.

“If there is an area of concern that we have to take great care in, we control what we can do in there [and] work closely with groups and statutory bodies to make sure we are not causing any issues,” he explained.