Councillor intervenes in local clamping row
A WEXFORD councillor has intervened in the row over clamping at Hollyville Heights and appealed to the management company of the estate to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
Cllr. George Lawlor whose wife Yvonne's car was almost clamped at the entrance to Hollyville last week as she sat in the driver's seat waiting to collect their children from St. Iberius School, has offered to mediate between the two sides.
About 20 people attended a public demonstration last Friday at the invitation of resident Seamus Kenny who launched a campaign against clamping in the estate after being told that he is not allowed to park his van outside his own front door as permits are only being issued for cars.
'People are making up their own rules and we have to abide by them,' he claimed. Another resident Clare Duggan said she was 'sick of the harassment'.
Her car was clamped while it was parked in her allotted space because the permit had slipped down behind her insurance disc.
She said the management company previously had a barrier erected to stop all unauthorised entry into the estate but was directed to take it down by Wex-ford Borough Council as it wasn't covered by planning permission.
The protest was supervised by a Garda after Seamus Kenny asked a Wexford Sergeant to intervene last Friday afternoon.
On Monday, Cllr. Lawlor offered to mediate in the dispute, saying: 'No-one wants this to turn into a war because then there will be no winners'.
According to Cllr. Lawlor, the Borough Council voted against the introduction of clamping on public streets a few years ago but there are no regulations regarding clamping in private estates.
'Is it lawful? There is no legislation to say it's lawful and no legislation to say it isn't lawful. It's a grey area', he said.
'If you are clamped, you could take a civil action against the clampers. I spoke to the Gardai about it and they said it is not a matter for them to get involved in. It's a civil matter'.
Cllr. Lawlor accused the management company of 'going about this in an overzealous manner' and said there was no major problem of illegal parking in Hollyville Heights.
The management company issued a statement on Tuesday.
'If, as he appears to believe, clamping is illegal in privte estates, then a remendy can be sought in a court of law,' it said.
'And Mr. Kenny can resolve the matter by simply parking his van at his place of business'.
The statement pointed out that Hollyville Heights is a private development managed by a company in which every owner is a shareholder.
When each apartment was purchased, the new owner signed a lease agreement which is a legally binding document and undertook not to allow the parking of commercial vehicles in the estate.
When NCPS took over parking control in Hollyville, Mr. Kenny and his landlord were given ample notice of the new regulations, according to the statement.