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Councillor Paul Murphy

Unco-operative landowners “jeapordising” Ballybeg improvements

A lack of co-operation from landowners is “jeapordising” a scheme aimed at improving the Ballybeg area, a meeting of Ennis councillors has been told.

The local authority has secured part 8 planning permission and funding of €150,000 from the National Transport Authority under a Low-Cost Safety Scheme for the continuation of footpath construction at Radharc na hInse, Ballybeg.

The scheme requires co-operation from landowners, and not all have given their agreement to date, the Ennis Municipal District meeting heard.

Acting senior executive engineer Paddy Tiernan told a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District that the council are engaging with the relevant party and will continue to do so. However, he added if an agreement cannot be reached then a revised scheme could be necessary which would require another Part 8 application.

Details of the status of the scheme were outlined following a request for an update by Councillor Paul Murphy. The councillor also sought information on the installation and turning on of the three stages of street lighting between Rockmount Cross and Ballybeg Cross.

Paddy Tiernan, A/Senior Executive Engineer, responded, “Members will be aware that a Part 8 permission was granted for this project and funding of €150,000 has been secured from the NTA under a Low-Cost Safety Scheme for this section of footpath.

The proposed scheme in Ballybeg requires the co-operation of landowners who is turn will be accommodated by means of boundary treatments including fencing, additional drainage, upgrade of entrances etc.

To date we have been unable to secure co-operation and agreement from all landowners. This is jeopardising the scheme in its current format. We will continue to engage with the relevant party, however, if an acceptable and reasonable agreement cannot be reached then a revised scheme may have to be explored. This may require another Part 8 application.”

With regard to the street lighting in this area he confirmed construction works for the section between the Kilrush Road and Silvergrove estate are ongoing and will be completed by the end of this month. “We are currently liaising the ESB with regards to the electrical connection required to get the lights operational.”

Construction works for the section between Silvergrove estate and Radharc Na hInse are now complete. “We expect lights to be installed and operational in approximately three weeks time.”

He concluded, “There is currently existing street lighting in place from the remainder of the scheme as far as Ballybeg Cross. Additional lighting may be required. The nature of this can only be established once the location of the proposed footpath is agreed.”

Councillor Murphy welcomed the response saying that “Ballybeg was ignored for a number of years, how we see a finishing line of sorts.” He voiced concern over the co-operation of landowners saying, “I hope it will be forthcoming”. He offered his assistance “in any way I can do, local knowledge could be of benefit.” He said the turning on of the lights “will be great”.

Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy described the non co-operation of landowners as “unfortunate” saying they will be among those who will benefit from the completion of the footpath. She also volunteered her assistance in reaching a compromise with the landowners. This was echoed by Councillor Pat Daly who said, “I would call on these farmers to co-operate, this is for their benefit, so many people walk in the area.” Councillor Tom O’Callaghan said the improvement works carried out have been “wonderful to see, credit where credit is due to all concerned” as he added his voice to those urging the landowners to support the proposals.

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