Carrickmore Road, Ballycastle - Public v Private Tussle
We understand the need to resolve objections, however if as we suspect the objections are on the basis that pedestrian access through our client’s lands is somehow prevented as a result of the abandonment it seems that the resolution is simply to inform objectors of the presence of the Public Rights of Way Assertion Statement and not to invest the objectors with some sense of their right to veto the Department’s proposal by reason of your invitation to them to withdraw their objection.
Documentation shows that abandonment wasn't so much a Department proposal as a request from an individual to hand over a portion of public road. The initial request was for about 300 metres of road all the way from No 40 Carrickmore Road to the North Star Dyke; this was later reduced.
Public pressure led to the removal of the unauthorised kerbing and lights
Objectors as well as other local people, including elected representatives, have no such veto but they do have a right to freely express their opinions. Officials from Transport NI, Coleraine, had an opportunity on January 13 past to hear these opinions as well as the opinions of the private individual's agents.
Public access over private lands is a matter for landowners and the local council; it need not involve space that is already public.
Official update: "I can advise that the matter is still under consideration. It is anticipated that a decision will be reached by the end of February 2016. The applicant and objectors will be advised in writing in due course."
Added 6 February 2017
February 2016 came and went but, one year on, this message arrived from the Department for Infrastructure:
[Background on this long running saga can be found by searching NALIL with 'carrickmore' and 'marconi'.]