Homeowner vows to fight slip road plan

A MAN whose home is in the path of a controversial slip road has vowed to fight the plan to the end.

Shiv Chada and his family have been living at Bellshill Road in Castledawson for more than 15 years and remain determined to stay.

“I just don’t know what to do,” he told the Mid-Ulster Mail.

“There are other routes for this road but Roads Service seems to want to bulldoze over my home.”

The father-of-three expects to receive a vesting order for his property within the next two months.

“We don’t want to leave here. This is our home and I will do everything I can to keep living here.

“It’s a very stressful time for my family as we do not know what is going to happen.”

His neighbour Drew McKee, who has lived on the Bellshill Road for 27 years, says he expects to lose about a third of his property if the slip road is not rerouted elsewhere.

Mr McKee said: “We are hoping that regional development minister Conor Murphy will look carefully at the other options available as we do not want to leave the homes we have lived in and invested so much of our time in for so long.”

The slip road is part of the 120m Toome to Castledawson dualling scheme that was originally supposed to run through the nearby Castle Oak estate, narrowly passing Bells Court.

But following a campaign by residents and local politicians the Roads Service amended its plans taking the roadway away from Castle Oak.

A spokesperson for the DRD stressed that a final decision has yet to be taken on the matter.

She said: “Following the public inquiry Roads Service has been considering a number of options and a final decision on the way forward has not been taken. Meetings with affected parties and further public consultation will take place.”