200 compensation claims caused by new dual carriageway
A TOTAL of 157 Dungannon District residents have received compensation payments from the Department of Regional Development after the rural tranquillity of their homes was shattered by the new A4 dual carriageway, it has been revealed.
A further 15 compensation claims lodged with the department have still to be processed.
In all, 200 compensation claims have been made by landowners and residents living close to the new road, which was finished in 2010.
The figures were released last week by the DRD at the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Residents who live close to Quinn’s Corner and Ballygawley village say their lives have been badly affected by the noise which begins at high levels from about 4am.
Many of the residents’ homes were built in unblighted rolling countryside before the new £146 million road was completed.
The 13 mile long carriageway replaced a twisting stretch of single carriageway that had a high fatality rate.
The new road abandoned the path of the old A4 and cut a swathe through unspoilt countryside. Construction company Lagan Ferrovial has already attempted to minimise the disruption caused by noise pollution by building fences and creating banks of trees.
The issue has been raised at meetings between Dungannon District Council and Roads Service.
DRD Minister Danny Kennedy said the successful claims had been made following vesting of lands in respect of the new road.
The landowners were compensated for damage to their property and ‘injurious affection’ which includes noise and vibration disturbances.
DUP MLA Maurice Morrow said he was lobbying the DRD on a number of important safety issues linked to the A4, such as the shortness of the slip lanes when traffic is merging onto the road.
“I firmly believe those living in close proximity to the road should be considered for compensation”, he said.
“A number of my constituents who were once accustomed to living in quiet countryside now find they are forced to endure heavy traffic thundering past their homes at all hours of the day and night, generating a large volume of noise.
“Indeed in one particular instance it appears that masonry cracks are evident in a private residence as result of vibration from traffic. There is no question noise levels have undoubtedly increased and these issues must be addressed by Roads Service.
“This is a matter I am contining to pursue with the DRD Minister and Roads Service in order to have this addressed. It has been made clear often enough by Roads Service that those affected by the construction of the A4 Dual Carriageway should not be worse off than beforehand.
“This new dual carriageway is a tremendous asset to the west, but a number of my constituents feel that since the new road was opened their situation has changed, but not for the better.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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