Council 'may have erred' in 2014 decision to block up access between two estates in Carlow

'It is strongly recommended that the motion be revoked and that the entrance be re-opened...'

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

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Carlow County Council "may have erred" in a members' resolution back in 2014 to temporarily block up pedestrian access between two estates in Carlow Town.

The Council sought legal advice over the pedestrian access between Sandhills housing estate in Carlow Town and Brownshill Wood in Carlow Town.

It is required in the planning permission for Sandhills estate that there be a pedestrian entrance between it and Brownshill Wood.

However, a motion in 2014 by Carlow Town Council - which called for the pedestrian access to be temporarily closed until Brownshill Wood was taken in charge by the local authority - was passed. 

Senior executive officer, Eamonn Brophy, will update members at the December meeting of Carlow Municipal District next week after the local authority received legal advice on the matter from its solicitor. 

In a letter to members, seen by Carlow Live, Mr Brophy says the advice has now been received and states that the planning permission requires a pedestrian connection between the two estates.

"The Council may have erred in passing the resolution in 2014," the letter says. 

The letter adds: "It further states that had a third party closed the entrance, the Planning Authority most likely would have issued an enforcement notice and that the Council should not carry out works it would not allow a third party to carry out.

"It concludes by advising that the motion of 2014 be revoked.

"It is strongly recommended that the motion be revoked and that the entrance be re-opened."

The matter is further complicated because where the pedestrian access is currently, is not where it should have been per the original planning permission granted. 

At the October meeting of the MD, Cllr Tom O'Neill, said there was huge concern about the issue and that the wall would be taken away. 

"When it was gone for two months, there were huge issues of anti-social behaviour," he said. 

Cllr Andrea Dalton said that members needed to be sure that whatever they do is "legal".