Galway City and County Councils said they are confident a proposed ring road can be developed in line with the objectives of the Climate Action Plan.

However, groups opposed to the plan said a reconsideration of the project by An Bord Pleanála should lead to it being scrapped once and for all.

Both sides have been reacting to the news that the planned route is to go back before the planning board for a new adjudication, after initial consent was quashed.

Permission for the 18km route was cancelled last October after it emerged that An Bord Pleanála had failed to consider the State's Climate Action Plan before granting approval in November 2021.

The plan, detailing how carbon emissions will be reduced by 51% by 2030, was published just days before the decision to grant permission for the N6 Galway City Ring Road.

It should have been factored into the process.

Now, the proposal is to go back before the board.

However, instead of having to go through the entire planning process once more, the project will be reviewed from the point at which the Inspector’s report on the application was first submitted to the planning board.

The proponents of the project – the two Galway local authorities and Transport Infrastructure Ireland – said they hope to deliver the route in "the medium term".

They are awaiting correspondence from An Bord Pleanála in light of the latest developments and said they will furnish all relevant data when requested to do so.

It is understood work is ongoing to ensure updated data can be provided, in relation to carbon emissions and the impact the development might have on Climate Action Plan goals.

The councils said they are reviewing the latest iteration of the plan, to ensure the proposed ring road aligns with its objectives.

An Taisce, which opposes the plan, said the proposal cannot proceed if the State is serious about commitments in relation to climate change.

The Chair of the organisation’s Galway Planning Committee, Peter Butler, said infrastructure of this nature would only add to emissions by increasing the number of cars travelling in and around the city.

He argued that a more considered planning approach is needed with an emphasis on sustainable travel to ensure people have viable alternative transport options.

Mr Butler said the approach in Galway is out of kilter with best practice and that the N6 Ring Road project is incompatible with the objectives set out in the Climate Action Plan.

Those views are echoed by Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly.

In a statement today, she said that it was difficult to envisage permission being granted "given our onerous obligations under climate legislation".

She called on the Government "to be bold and brave" and use Galway city as a pilot project for sustainable public transport.

The High Court order entails what is known as "quash and remit", meaning An Bord Pleanála has been given a point at which to review the process and make a fresh decision.

Applications that the plan be quashed outright - sending it back to square one - have been rejected.

It is expected that the Board will take legal advice in the coming weeks, on how best to approach the process.

There is a possibility that "out of an abundance of caution", the Inspector may be asked to review some elements of the proposal, taking the Climate Action Plan into account.

However, the deliberations will only focus on the issue of the road scheme itself.

There is no indication how long the process will take.