The provision of the Proposed Road Development will bring benefits to the existing environment in this area of County Sligo.
This will include inter-alia:

  • A reduction in Noise and Vibration for those numerous properties along the existing N4
  • Management and treatment of road runoff.
  • Working only outside of spawning season.
  • Ecological surveys and the¬†Protection of badgers, bats, otters, marsh fritillary butterflies, frogs and newts¬†
  • Mammal proof fencing
  • There is a dedicated environmental team on site who oversee the works to ensure activities are carried out with minimal impact on the environment

In addition, considering that the Proposed Road Development will be constructed to the increasingly high standard of environmental mitigation practice there are numerous benefits which will arise to the existing environment. This is particularly true in the case of the management and treatment of road runoff which is currently being discharged untreated and un-attenuated to the Unshin River cSAC/pNHA and the Lough Arrow cSAC/pNHA/SPA. The provision of infrastructure to treat this runoff will have ensuing benefits for the aquatic flora and fauna of these important biodiversity sites.

There are numerous watercourse crossings associated with this Proposed Road Development including the construction of new culverts on off-line sections and amendment/ replacement of the existing crossing at on-line sections. Many of these are over minor watercourses, 10 are watercourses identified on the Discovery Series Mapping of which 4 are considered to be aquatically sensitive watercourses. Diversion or maintenance of these channels has the potential to generate sediment-laden pollution.

Planning of these works has taken into consideration the sensitive nature of all streams and water courses which extensive mitigation in place prior to works taking place. This includes only working outside of spawning season and under the guidance of Inland Fisheries Ireland. Electro-fishing and fish rescue will be carried out at some locations. Fish will be removed safety and relocated downstream of the works.

Many ecological surveys have been undertaken including for badgers, bats, otters, marsh fritillary butterflies, frogs and newts.

There have been a number of badger setts identified along the route. Ecological surveys have been completed for these to determine if they are active. Setts in the line of the road will be closed following the receipt of a special derogation licence from National Parks and Wildlife Services. Closures will be carried out in a manner to ensure that all badgers have been excluded from the setts before they are removed. Artificial setts may be constructed in some areas if required.

Mammal proof fencing will be erected along the whole length of the road to prevent badgers and other mammals gaining access to the road. Special mammal underpasses will be created to allow safe passage of animals under the road.

Bat surveys are being completed on all structures including houses and sheds as well as trees along the route. Bats are a protected species in Ireland. Where bats have been identified, a special derogation licence from National Parks and Wildlife Services has been obtained. This licence allows for the safe removal of bats by outlining methods to be taken to ensure bats are excluded without coming to any harm.

There is a dedicated environmental team onsite who oversee the works to ensure activities are carried out with minimal impact on the environment and that environmental best practices are maintained on site. This team carries out daily monitoring including but limited to; stream/river inspections, noise monitoring, vibration monitoring and dust monitoring.