Arklow Caravan Park, Seabank, Arklow, Co. Wicklow have without planning permission erected a fence along its southern boundary and attempted to lock a gate barring local access to the coast – access that has been enjoyed for over 150 years. Locals have formed Arklow Residents Rights Of Way (ARROW) and are still awaiting a court date for their affidavits to be heard as supporting evidence for Wicklow County Council’s case against the leaseholders and their unauthorised development in 2017.

Whilst the gate has been re-opened due to local activists, other paths from the Arklow Bay Hotel and the local leisure centre that joined with the access lane remain blocked. This historical area of the town has been managed and nurtured by local groups such as the Tidy Towns; providing signage, planting memorial gardens for the Kynoch victims, maintaining paths, litter-picking, and was an amenity to both visitors and locals.

Walkers from the town walk along the top of the rip-rap until they reach the fence, chains, barriers and wire across the gravelled path.

Despite the council having installed this path, this private individual has so disturbed the large boulders that only those with good mobility can access the rest of the path past the fence. Walkers with limited mobility or those with prams or buggies can see the beautiful sandy beach, can see walkers through the barrier who have accessed the coastal path via the access lane on the caravan park side, but must return along the rip-rap or via the lower path to the duck pond.

Another case that illustrates the need for legislation to support citizens and local authorities in preserving and maintaining rights of way.

See below for links press articles re this issue: