Disappointing figures

Only seven availed of Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme in Leitrim last year

Surprise more people didn't apply

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Only seven availed of Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme in Leitrim last year

Only seven applications were made under the Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme in Leitrim last year.

The figures were released in response to a request from Cathaoirleach of Manorhamilton Municipal District, Cllr Frank Dolan.

At Monday's Municipal meting, Cllr Dolan asked what the actual take-up for the scheme was.

He was told that eight applications for this Grant Scheme were received by Leitrim County Council; six from Manorhamilton MD, one from Ballinamore MD and one from Carrick-on-Shannon MD.

Of these, only one from Manorhamilton MD was refused. To date four of the approved grants have been paid out, a total of €880 in grant funding. The council is awaiting completion of works and approvals for the three remaining applications.

The Hedge Cutting Grant Scheme provided a grant of €50 per kilometre of roadside hedges cut.

The initial closing date for grant applications was October 31 last year but this was later extended to December 29, 2017.

Cllr Dolan asked if the Council felt this scheme was a success on the back of these figures.

Local Area Engineer, Padraig MacShera, acknowledged the figures applying for funding were disappointing.

“I am surprised that more didn't take it up as it is a grant of 50 percent of the cost of the cutting,” he said.

He said part of the problem may be the fact that the stretch of road required under the grant could involve a number of property owners and some applicants didn't follow up with their neighbours to get agreement for the scheme.