Carrick-on-Suir Town Council has begun investigating whether the town’s Navigation Wall on the river should be listed as a protected structure.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien informed the Council’s latest monthly meeting that he has arranged for two Co. Council planning officials to inspect the wall that was built in the 1830s to allow heavier boats travel on the river to Carrick-on-Suir.
He informed councillors that local boatman Jim Power was kindly facilitating this inspection by Council executive planner Caroline Conway and senior executive planner Sonja Reidy.
Mr O’Brien said he would report back to the elected members to the discuss the next steps in the process following this initial assessment of the wall.
The Town Council has taken this action in response to pressure from the elected members of the Council concerned about the wall’s deteriorating state.
A motion was passed by councillors at the Council’s February meeting calling on the local authority to contact the relevent authorities in relation to maintaining the wall.
Independent Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin, who tabled the motion, said the Navigation Wall opened Carrick-on-Suir up to a lot more commercial trade and it was as important to the twown as Ellis Island was to New York.
The Town Clerk presented a report to the Council’s April meeting on how best to preserve what remains of the wall, which was originally 900ft long.
He informed councillors that the appropriate way to protect a structure that a Planning Authority considers to be of special interest from an architectural, artistic, cultural, social or technical point of view is to have it included in its Record of Protected Structures (RPS).
He said it is possible that the Navigation Wall fell into one of these categories and a may be suitable for inclusion in the Council’s RPS.
Mr O’Brien explained that including a structures in the RPS meant its importance was recognised and it was legally protected from harm. It also meant that any future changes the structure was controlled and managed.
Any decision to include structures or remove them can only be made by the Council’s elected members.
An owner or occupier of a protected structure is obliged to prevent the structure from becoming endangered whether through harm, decay, damage or neglect.
Under the Planning and Development Act 2000 there are penalties for owners or occupiers of protected structures who endanger a structure or who fail to carry out work that has been ordered by the Planning Authority.
A map outlining the extent of the land owned by the Town Council in the vicinity of the Navigation Wall was shown to councillors.
The Town Clerk reported that ownership of land beyond the eastern perimeter of the boundary adjacent to the river was complex and may prove difficult to establish.
However, it will be necessary to determine the landowners on which the Navigation Wall is situated should the Council decide to include it in its RPS, he said.