Independent Local Election Candidate for the Cahir/Clonmel Area, Martin Lonergan has, in a statement today, called on the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to extend the deadline for cutting hedge rows.
The call comes as the rules which prohibits hedge trimming from the 1 March to the 31 August come into affect shortly.
?Despite the unprecedented weather conditions in recent weeks, which included severe storms, the rules which apply to hedge trimming will come into effect in the coming days,? commented Mr Lonergan.
?Heavy rainfall and severe wind over the past few weeks has meant it was impossible to get hedge trimming equipment on to many fields without compromising the health and safety of the operator or damaging land. Many high roadside hedges and trees on rural and national roads remain in a dangerous condition and are over hanging on phone and electricity lines following the storms and many will need to be trimmed,? according to Mr Lonergan.
?The backlog of work among contractors means it has been impossible for them to service farmer?s requirements in a timely manner and before the 1 March deadline. Many areas of land remain submerged in water and dangerous hedgerows continue to pose a particular risk to road safety.?
?The Roads Act, 1993 provides the powers for local authorities to deal with dangerous roadside trees, shrubs and vegetation. Therefore, a statutory obligation is placed on landowners and occupiers to ensure that roadside trees do not present a danger to road users. Surely then, in light of the unprecedented conditions of late, the Department on this occasion could introduce a derogation on the rules affecting hedge trimming so that the safety of road users can be to the fore,? concluded Mr Lonergan.