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'Fatpuss' vows to put back up fence torn down in council row

Alan 'Fatpuss' Bradley and his neighbours are set to re-erect a fence torn down by Meath council so their children can be safe playing in the area.

The long wooden fence was put up by residents in the Churchfields estate in Kentstown to keep their kids from going onto dangerous wasteland littered with holes and dumped material.

It was pulled down last week when a pet farm and playground erected by residents without planning permission was dismantled by council workers.

Bradley and the residents have now paid €400 to get the fence back from the council, and they plan on putting it back up and applying for retention planning permission.

It is unclear if Meath County Council will pull the fence down again, or if they will leave it in place while the planning application by the residents is processed and a definitive decision is reached. Meath County Council told the Herald the enforcement order used to take the fence and the pet farm down still stands.

Meanwhile, the developer who owns the land and is trying to get the council to take charge of it has told the Herald he has no objection to Bradley or the residents building the fence.

"I paid for 14 skips out of my own pocket to remove the rubble and rubbish on that ground and make it safe," Bradley told the Herald.

"We put that fence up to protect our children, and it upset everyone on the estate when it was taken down," he added.

"The fence just has to go back up, and we'll apply for retention for it, but I can't understand why it needs planning permission at all because it's not cemented into the ground or anything," Bradley explained.

Bradley visited Meath County Council's offices last week to demand that the fence be replaced to protect children.

The Churchfield's Residents' Association has said they put up the fence four years ago because a hilly area of wasteground at the edge of the estate was littered with bricks, rubble, metal bands, and open manholes.

"It was very dangerous, and we all chipped together and put up the fence," Bradley told the Herald.