IFA President John Bryan has called on the Department of Transport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) to immediately end the practice of sterilising vast tracts of land by announcing a route for a new scheme, despite the fact that no budget exists to buy the land or build the road.
Mr. Bryan said, “The agri-food sector is expanding to sustainably meet increasing global demand for food, with the Government’s strategy, <i>Food Harvest 2020</i>, showing that the sector will deliver an extra €4bn of exports in the next decade. Farmers are now making management decisions in order to achieve this growth. However the NRA and the Department of Transport must rethink their strategy of designing and building roads.”
The IFA President added, “During this time of economic constraint, when the roads capital budget is being reviewed, it is no longer acceptable that a route for a new road is announced and lands sterilised, preventing farmers and their families from building a dwelling house or farm buildings and providing no indication of when the land may be acquired or the road built. Many farmers including those affected by the proposed N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour are outraged by the proposal to sterilise their farms, while the NRA, Department of Transport or Wexford County Council do not have a budget in place to purchase the land or build the road.”
The IFA President is scheduled to meet Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar in the coming weeks and will restate his objection to this practice.