The proposed M20 route that follows the N20 route is being strongly opposed by hundreds of Whitechurch residents who say the motorway could potentially rip communities apart and destroy family homes and farms.
The route is one of seven road options and two rail options being considered for the M20 project that entered the consultation process in November.
Residents have expressed concern at the impact of the proposed route on homes and farms, and at the lack of face-to-face consultation because of the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
A newly formed action group has been actively engaging on social media and through virtual meetings since the public consultation on the new motorway opened on November 19, 2020.
There is particular concern amongst residents living in the general areas of Tweedmount/Stoneview/Careys Cross/Coolowen/Sluggera Cross and Tullig.
Residents feel the proposed new route would divide their community and cause irreparable damage.
The spokesperson for the group, Dee Hosford, said the response to the announcement of the potential route for the M20 “has been swift and our community is gearing up for a fight if it is selected by the planners.
“We feel it would decimate the connectivity between all these local areas and have a significant impact on local residential, educational, business, and agricultural sectors.”
Mrs Hosford continued, “There are other proposed routes, including the upgrading of the existing N20 which makes much more sense and has less of an impact on people’s lives.”
A committee has been established to co-ordinate the community response, and a number of virtual meetings have been held amongst the community. Local politicians have also been asked to intervene on behalf of the community.
Residents in the wider Whitechurch area who may be impacted have been asked to engage with the public consultation process, and register their concern at the proposed route.