Landowners could Face Legal Action for Overgrown Roadside Hedgerow

By Seamus Whelehan

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Land owners near Mogeely could face legal action if roadside hedges and verges are not cut back.

The state of the Mogeely to Dungourney Road has been slammed by residents and East Cork Municipal Cllrs.

The hedgerow along the R627 regional road has become so overgrown that it poses a threat to motorists and pedestrians as the view is obstructed by overgrown bushes and overhanging branches.   Cllrs at the February Sitting of the Borough said they have been inundated with complaints from worried residents over the roadside shrubbery.

Cllr Danielle Twomey told the Sitting that sections of the regional road are so wild that it’s putting lives at risk due to inadequate site lines.

“The hedges are coming out onto the road which is now so narrow that only one lane of traffic can get past” the Sinn Fein Cllr said.

The Local Authority wrote to the landowners last month which resulted in some taking action being taken. However, the majority of verge has been left untouched.

Agreeing with Cllr Twomey, the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said “it’s deadly dangerous.”

Council officials, in the coming days, are to issue a second letter to the landowners who have failed to act.

Senior Engineer Cork Roads, Dave Clarke said if their warnings go unheard they may issue a formal notice which could lead to legal action.

“We can take a person to Court or cut the hedgerows ourselves and seek recoupment for the cost” he said.

Under Section 70 of the Road Traffic Act 1993 the landowner is responsible for the maintenance of hedges that border their land near public roads.

Under Environmental Law, hedgerows can be cut between September and February of the following year so that nesting birds are not disturbed.

The Local Authority, however, can override this where there is a threat to public safety.

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