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Breathnach encourages LIS scheme interest

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Deputy Declan Breathnach.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Fianna Fail TD Declan Breathnach is urging any landowners in the Ardee and Mid-Louth area who are responsible for non-county roads to contact the relevant authorities and register their roads for the Local Improvement Scheme.

Deputy Breathnach is advising that the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) may re-open soon for non-county road improvements and says that the Department of Rural and Community Development are carrying out a survey to ascertain the level of interest in the scheme.

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This scheme is for non-county roads only. This means funding is provided for roads and laneways that have not been taken in charge by the local council; the maintenance and improvement of which is a matter for the relevant landowner. A contribution towards improvements must be made by applicants, which will then be added to by LIS.

By allowing a portion of this dfunding to be allocated in this way, road authorities say flexibility is afforded to local communities and to the councils to ensure that surfaces are kept to a high standard, helping to minimise accidents and keep roads and laneways in good working order.

To be eligible, the road on which works are to be carried out must be in private ownership and must:

  • Provide access to parcels of land of which at least two are owned or occupied by different persons, or
  • Provide access for harvesting purposes (including turf or seaweed) for two or more persons, or shall in the opinion of the road authority by used by the public – definition of such road is a road which may connect two public roads or give access to a beach or commonage and thus serve the local community.

“A financial contribution must be received from the applicants towards the cost of the Local Improvement Scheme,” Breathnach said. “Those interested in the scheme should contact my office or the Roads Department of Louth County Council so that your road/laneway can be included in a list which the County Council will be compiling.”

“I will be asking the Minister to open this scheme up to third class roads which I feel should be included in a scheme such as this. Many third class county roads are in a shocking state as these roads get overlooked all the time in favour of busier roads when funding is allocated,” he added.

The scheme is similar to Community Involvement Schemes, but LIS focuses specifically on non-county roads. The CIS scheme asks for residents or groups that are looking for roadworks on local and small public roads such as lanes or cul-de-sacs to contribute 50% towards the work, which the local authority will then match.

The Department for Rural Community and Development has written to local authorities and asked them to identify potential projects by the 14th September for a proposed LIS scheme. Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie about the scheme, Dolores Minogue expressed her delight that the LIS had returned. 

“I’m delighted that the scheme has been brought back and I very much welcome the funding. It’s great to see money allocated for private roads and roads that have been neglected over the years.”

“I will be providing Louth County Council with a list of local roads I feel would benefit and I would urge anyone who would like to put forward a road they feel needs work to contact me so I can notify the council,” she added.

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