Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the decision by Wicklow County Council to issue a second warning letter in relation to blocking of public access to North beach in Arklow.
Speaking after the second warning letter was issued Teachta Brady said “I have been working with local residents for a considerable time now on this disgraceful attempt by a local landowner in his attempt to stop access of the public to the North beach. This is a fantastic local amenity that has been used by generations of Arklow people.”
“I welcome the decision by the council to issue the second warning letter this week; a previous letter had been issued last June. The warning letter states that the named individuals have four weeks to respond to the alleged unauthorised development which has seen a fence being erected and locking of a gate to restrict public access to the local North beach.”
“In the letter the planning authority states that they are satisfied that the fence that has been erected along the southern boundary is not exempted development, as it is it is enclosing land that has been used by the public for recreational purposes or a means to access the seashore during the 10 years preceding.”
Teachta Brady continued “The protection of our public right of ways are very important and any attempts to restrict or curtail those rights has to be opposed. The right of ways to the North Beach and Porters Rock/Seabank areas in Arklow date as far back as 1896, these are fantastic beaches and any attempt to essentially turn them into private beaches will not be tolerated. This is the second warning letter that has been issued; if no response or an unsatisfactory response is forthcoming the council must issue an enforcement notice and legal action if necessary.”
Local Sinn Féin councillor Mary McDonald said “I have worked closely with local residents on this issue now for over a year now and have raised it consistently at meetings of the Municipal District where unfortunately it had seemed to fall on deaf ears. I welcome this second warning letter that has now been issued by the council and I will continue to work on this issue until the public have unrestricted access along the well established right of ways to our beautiful beaches.”