Roads Act 1993

Dangerous structures, trees, etc.

70

70. (1) ( a) The owner or occupier of any structure and the owner or occupier of any land on which a structure is situated shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the structure or the use of the structure is not a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road and that it does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.

( b) Where a structure or the use of a structure is a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road or where it obstructs or interferes with the safe use of a public road or with the maintenance of a public road, a road authority may serve a notice in writing on the owner or occupier of the structure or on the owner or occupier of any land on which the structure is situated to remove, modify or carry out specified works in relation to the structure within the period stated in the notice.

(2) ( a) The owner or occupier of land shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation on the land is not a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road and that it does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.

( b) Where a tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation is a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road or where it obstructs or interferes with the safe use of a public road or with the maintenance of a public road, a road authority may serve a notice in writing on the owner or occupier of the land on which such tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation is situated requiring the preservation, felling, cutting, lopping, trimming or removal of such tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation within the period stated in the notice.

(3) ( a) A person on whom a notice under subsection (1) or (2) has been served may, within fourteen days from the date of service, appeal against the notice to the District Court on any one or more of the following grounds:

(i) that he is not the owner or occupier of the structure,

(ii) that he is not the owner or occupier of the land on which the structure, tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation is situated,

(iii) that the structure (or the use of such structure), tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation, as the case may be, is not a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road or does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road,

(iv) that compliance with the requirements of the notice would involve unreasonable expense,

(v) that the notice specified an unreasonably short time for complying with its requirements or any of them.

( b) Notice of the appeal shall be given to the road authority and that authority shall be entitled to appear, be heard and adduce evidence on the hearing of the appeal.

(4) ( a) On the hearing of the appeal the Court may, as it thinks proper, either—

(i) confirm the notice unconditionally, or

(ii) confirm the notice subject to such modifications, alterations or additions as the Court thinks reasonable, or

(iii) annul the notice.

( b) Where the Court confirms the notice, subject to modifications, alterations or additions, the notice shall have effect subject to such modifications, alterations or additions.

(5) ( a) The jurisdiction conferred on the District Court by this section shall be exercised by the Judge of that Court having jurisdiction in the district in which the structure referred to in subsection (1) or the land referred to in subsection (1) or (2) is situated.

( b) No appeal shall lie to the Circuit Court from a decision of the District Court under this section.

(6) A notice under subsection (1) or (2) shall not have effect until—

( a) the expiration of fourteen days from the date of service of the notice, or

( b) if an appeal is taken and the notice is confirmed, with or without modifications, the date upon which the decision of the Court is pronounced or the date upon which the order of the Court is expressed to take effect, whichever is the later.

(7) An owner or occupier who fails to comply with a notice under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(8) Where an owner or occupier fails to comply with a notice under this section, the road authority may take the action specified in the notice or such other action as it thinks fit.

(9) Where a road authority considers that a structure (or the use of such structure), tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation presents an immediate and serious hazard to persons using a public road it may, notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1) to (8), take immediate action to reduce or remove the hazard.

(10) Where a road authority takes action under subsection (8) or (9) it may recover any reasonable costs incurred by it from the owner or occupier as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(11) Where a road authority has entered or proposes to enter on any land under subsection (8) or (9), it shall as soon as may be serve on the owner or the occupier of the land, a notice stating that it has entered or proposes to enter on the land and specifying the action that it has taken or proposes to take thereon.

(12) ( a) Where a person takes action—

(i) to remove, modify or carry out specified works in relation to a structure, or

(ii) to preserve, fell, cut, lop, trim or remove any tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation to which this section relates,

he shall take all reasonable measures to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety of persons using a public road.

( b) A person who contravenes this subsection shall be guilty of an offence.

F94 [ (13) In this section structure means a structure (whether fixed or moveable) and includes any apparatus, object or thing which is attached or fixed to or connected with the structure. ]