Council ‘not aware’ of dangers in Rockview estate in Portlaoise

Cllr Caroline Dwane said she was “absolutely shocked” that Laois County Council are unaware of any dangers for residents in the unfinished Rockview housing estate in Portlaoise.

Cllr Caroline Dwane said she was “absolutely shocked” that Laois County Council are unaware of any dangers for residents in the unfinished Rockview housing estate in Portlaoise.

Seconding a motion by fellow Sinn Féin Cllr Alan Hand in Portlaoise Town Council last Tuesday, she said the estate was “sticking out like a sore thumb”. She noted in particular a streetlight erected so close to a house it was hitting off the wall in windy weather.

“No doubt the person living there is gone demented. The standard of workmanship is terrible,” she said.

Last week the Leinster Express reported that seven Rockview Green householders have objected to the developer’s planning application to retain a road, which they claim was meant to be temporary and is “very dangerous”. A decision is due from Laois County Council at the end of January.

Cllr Hand’s motion called for a dangerous site in Rockview to be made safe, and for speed in getting the estate completed and taken in charge.

“The entrance is unsatisfactory, people have to perform a u-turn on a small roundabout to gain entry on occasion. On the top of Rockview Hill, there is an unfinished site with the foundations poured. When it rains very heavily it fills with six to eight feet of water. There is temporary fencing around it, and there is building material, slates and cobble lock on pallets, some has been taken by people. One gentleman living beside it is very distressed, he has more or less become the gatekeeper,” Cllr Hand explained.

Vowing to flag the problems with the environment section, he added that residents had done their bit, cleaning up the entrance.

“This is probably the single worst estate in Portlaoise in terms of not being finished, it needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later,” he said.

Cllr Jerry Lodge revealed he has objected to the planning permission currently lodged.

“The receiver’s sole concern is to maximise revenue, our objective is to ensure that walls, lights and all conditions set down should all be met, the onus is on us to make sure residents’ rights are looked after properly. I will object to An Bord Pleanala if conditions are not met,” he said.

Senior planner Carmel McNicholl said they are currently negotiating with the receiver and the bondholder to complete the unfinished estate.