Developer asks residents to 'share pain' X X

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Lynda Kiernan

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Lynda Kiernan

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Developer asks residents to 'share pain' X X

By Lynda Kiernan lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Joe Byrne from S & B Developments, who completed the luxurious estate of Killenard Lodge ten years ago, says residents should part pay the cost of their water.

Mr Byrne stopped maintaining and disinfecting the private water supply in 2014, after residents refused to help pay the cost of it.

“The residents refuse to engage with us, but this can be resolved easily if everybody takes a bit of the pain. I suggested that we all pay a small portion but the council and residents just ignored me. I’m prepared to speak provided everyone is willing to be reasonable,” Mr Byrne said, adding that he “fully understands” the fears of residents over the dangerous bacteria found last week in the water.

He said he requested that the €3,000 annual cost of maintaining a clean water supply is shared equally between the local authority, residents and his company.

“This could be resolved in a few days. I am ten years dealing with this, I want to resolve this issue, this is one of the best estates in Laois, finished to the highest level,” the Laois developer said.

He is unhappy with the long delay in getting the estate connected to the public supply, leaving S&B to pay for the water supply and maintenance of the estate.

“It’s not our fault. The problem is Irish Water was established during the process of taking in charge, and the council can’t get a connection without Irish Water’s permission. My understanding is there is an issue with water pressure, they are struggling to get a connection. The pipes go right by the gate of the estate. In the meantime we have had to maintain the treatment plant. I explained to residents that it costs money and asked them to take a bit of the pain,” he said.

Mr Byrne said he had asked residents to pay €300 annually towards water and other maintenance costs.

“If they paid for water only it would cost €150 a year,” he said, adding that the establishment of a management company was a condition of the council’s planning approval, leaving him entitled to request estate management fees.

“I have been well on top of this, but in the last 18 months no resident has rung me or made contact. I am open to meeting them. If they are reasonable we can resolve this,” Mr Byrne said.