Plans for the dezoning of lands at Gortroe, Newcastle West were rejected at a meeting of Limerick City and County Council on Monday.

Councillors met to adopt the Newcastle West Local Area Plan 2014-20 and rejected a proposal by planners that lands already zoned for enterprise and employment would be rezoned back to agriculture. The reason for zoning the lands as enterprise and employment was their potential for the develop-ment of a viable motorway to the south and east of the town. “We need to retain the present zoning to accommodate a proper bypass of the town in the future,” insisted Cllr. Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Newcastle West.

Monday’s decision will now go to the Minister for the Environment for arbitration and final decision.

Monday’s meeting also put paid to plans contained in the original draft plan that would have seen a road built through the Demesne in the town. The proposal was contained in the draft plan published late last year, but following the receipt of over 100 submissions the proposal was dropped. One of the biggest public meetings ever held in Newcastle West took place in February of this year to voice opposition to the plan for the Demesne.

In a separate development, plans for the second phase of the realignment of the N21 at Barna is about to get the green light to commence the project. The National Roads Authority, having secured the funding, is putting the work out to tender this week for the realignment of the road between Ballintubrid and Garryduff Cross.

It is expected that work on the road will commence later this year.