Illegal halting site continues to be operated in County Limerick town

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

THERE is dismay and deep disappointment in Rathkeale that an illegal halting site on the town’s Main Street has not been closed down, more than a week after the matter was brought to the attention of the county council.

THERE is dismay and deep disappointment in Rathkeale that an illegal halting site on the town’s Main Street has not been closed down, more than a week after the matter was brought to the attention of the county council.

As of last week, there were five caravans parked on the site, which carries planning permission for two houses.

But senior planner with Limerick County Council, Gerry Sheerin told the Limerick Leader they referred the matter to their solicitor earlier this month.

“We hope to have an early court date to prosecute for the installation of the caravans,” he said.

However, Padraig Doherty, chairman of the town’s community council said they were bitterly disappointed that, despite legal action taken by the County Council, the site continued to be used as a halting site. “It was used as a halting site last year and it continues to be used this year,” Mr Doherty said.

The saga of the site goes back over two years. In April 2009, planning permission for two houses was granted for the site and in November the existing entrance was demolished and the site cleared.

After a hardcore surface was laid, Rathkeale Community Council drew the matter to the attention of the County Council, claiming that the development fee had not been paid by the agreed date and that there was unauthorised development taking place. They pointed out that this unauthorised development was taking place “directly across the street” from the council’s own area office and showed a “complete disregard for planning law and procedures.