Residents ‘not budging’ over access to laneway

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More than 100 residents in a rural residential area outside Limavady are “not budging” in a dispute about a laneway they say they have used for years as “a right of way”, a local councillor has said.

The dispute concerns a laneway off the Barnault Road, outside the town, near Dromore Avenue.

At last Tuesday’s Development Services meeting of Limavady Borough Council, department Director, Valerie Richmond told members the laneway is not asserted as a public right of way. She said members could agree to pursuing agreement with the landowner to suggest to him to put up a gate but maintain pedestrian access, or the other option was, for Council to go down the formal route, “which can take considerable time”.

Sinn Fein councilor Anne Brolly said: “We are depending on the goodwill of the landowner. If he says ‘no’, how can we move forward really? There doesn’t seem to be any other way to move forward.”

Ms Richmond, who stressed the laneway was an agricultural laneway, added: “The role of Council is to look at this objectively.”

Colr Alan Robinson said the residents are “not prepared to move on this” and that for them “it is a point of principle”.

“I understand you can’t push this through on a point of principle,” he said, proposing talks with the landowner and residents.

“101 of them not budging,” added Colr. Robinson, referring to a petition on the matter.

Colr. Robinson’s proposal was seconded by Colr. Brolly, while SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan added: “This is the only way forward. There is no other route.”

A Council spokesperson said: “Council has asked that a meeting is held to discuss the concerns of both the landowner and local residents with a view to finding a resolution acceptable to all parties.”