Concerns over planning delays at Viking site

FRESH concerns are being raised about the potential delays caused to a city bypass because of the discovery of an archaeological site in the area being excavated.

A report on a Viking site uncovered on the edge of Waterford city earlier this year is not due until September. But local politicians fear it could be well into next year before work begins on the route, further hindering development in the region.

Labour councillor Pat Hayes says that all members of the city’s council should be brought to the site before the Environment Minister Martin Cullen’s decision on what should be done to protect the find. It will be the minister who decides if the site will be excavated or if an overpass will be built to preserve the area.

“We need to be brought up to the site and told how important it is, what is left there and what is the best option for the site. People living in this city at the moment, specifically in the north-west of the city, are fed up with the traffic.

“The N9 is passing along the city streets and there is no room to move. Huge trucks are using roads never built for that purpose and motorists are in constant danger. If something is going to delay the by-pass for Waterford, we want to be sure that it is necessary,” Mr Hayes said.

Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane believes that the site must be preserved.

“People from all over the country are coming to view this site and there is an onus and a responsibility on Waterford City Council to ensure the site is developed and that the potential which exists for tourism on the site is also developed.

“The Environment Minister has a responsibility here. We all want to see the motorway and the by-pass but not at the expense of a Viking site which should be preserved,” he said.

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