LIMERICK County Council has initiated enforcement proceedings against a County Limerick farmer after one of its enforcement officers was forced to call the gardai during an inspection of unauthorised work on his land last Friday.
According to Gerry Sheeran, acting director of planning services with Limerick County Council, a complaint was made to the local authority concerning works at an entrance to Jim Flavin’s site at Skoolhill, Fedamore.
“We sent out an enforcement officer on Friday. The enforcement officer talked to the contractors who were there and told them that this was an unauthorised development. They did not stop working and failed to provide information of their names to him. The enforcement officer called the gardai,” said Mr Sheeran.
A planning application in respect of a new entrance, bridge, hardcore roadway, a building to cover existing silage yards and all associated works at Skoolhill and Grange was lodged by Mr Flavin with the council on July 9 last.
However, according to Mr Sheeran the works which were carried out on Friday were at an existing entrance and there was no application lodged with the local authority in respect of these works.
“The enforcement officer inspected again on Monday of this week and the works to the entrance were basically completed. The council are taking enforcement proceedings in regard to this breach of planning,” Mr Sheeran added.
When contacted this Wednesday, Mr Flavin who runs a butcher business in Castletroy and Ballinacurra in the city said he gave the go-ahead for the works to be carried out at the entrance on health and safety grounds. He pointed out that he was not on the site on Friday when the gardai were called.
“A tractor was travelling in the entrance with bales of silage and he tipped the side of the wall of the entrance. I thought myself it was a health and safety issue,” Mr Flavin explained.
“I asked the contractor would he knock down the wall. That is exactly what he did.
“We didn’t do any new development. We pushed the gate that was on the side of the road in further off the road so when I drive in, my jeep and my box would be in off the road. I did no new development, I just knocked down the wall that was there,” he said.