An Bord Pleanála's oral hearing into the Athy Distributor Road scheme took place on Tuesday, July 4th in Athy's Clanard Court Hotel.

The 3.4km single carriageway arterial road will run south of the town centre, and link the N78 west of Athy to the existing roundabout at the junction of the R418/N78 on the eastern side.

The road will alleviate considerable traffic congestion on Athy's main street, which is due to reliance on the single 18th century crossing of the River Barrow at Crom-a-boo bridge.

Concerns about possible environmental impacts, particularly on the River Nore Special Area of Conservation (SAC), were among the principal objections to the scheme.

Roughan & O'Donovan-AECOM prepared the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Natura Impact Statement (NIS), and the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) plans and schedules for the scheme.

Michelle Doyle, partner, McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors, commented:

We have not read such a superbly crafted witness statement that dealt with all the submissions/objections in such a seamless manner. It should be a template for everyone going forward.

An Bord Pleanála is due to reach its decision by October 12th.