New snag hits ‘lovely’ unfinished estate in The Swan

Housing: New houses to be tagged onto incomplete estate

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

New snag hits ‘lovely’ unfinished estate in The Swan

Clanmallagh Estate in The Swan

Residents living in a lovely Laois estate built during the Celtic Tiger era that is unfinished to the satisfaction of Laois County Council now face a new complication due to the granting of permission for more houses nearby.

Families living in the Clarmallagh Estate in The Swan are waiting for responsibility for lights and roads to be looked after by the local authority under the taking in charge process. However, the original developer has yet to finish out the estate.

The ongoing issues with Clarmallagh Estate in the The Swan were raised by Cllr Padraig Fleming at the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

He called for an update and timescale regarding the taking in charge of the estate in a motion. He said he had been raising the issue for years.

Ms. Angela McEvoy, Senior Planner replited in writing.

“A number of issues need to be resolved in relation to this estate, namely a CCTV survey, built drawings, wayleaves, repairs to footpaths, construction of at least two additional manholes and a report on the condition of the public lighting.

“A bond is in place in relation to this development and the Planning Section will be holding a meeting with the bond holder to consider options to resolving the above items.

“An update on this including a timescale will be given to the next meeting in May,” she said.

Cllr Fleming welcomed the response but said he has been dealing with the matter for years.

“The estate is 16 years there and it is a lovely estate,” he said.

Cllr Fleming said a bond of €100,000 exists which the council could draw upon to finish off the issue. However, he highlighted another snag if the money is drawn down.

He said the issue is that there is new planning for a part of the estate from a new developer who wants to add 15 sites and houses. Access to the building site will be via a road that is unfinished which would be covered by the bond.

Cllr Fleming suggested that three quarters of the existing estate could be taken in charge. Alternatively, he said the bond secured on the new development would cover the cost of resurfacing the existing unfinished route.

Cllr Aidan Mullins said not a lot has changed since he raised the issue last year, other than the council was liaising with the developer with a view to completing in 2020.

“To hear now that the council is going to try and draw down the bond suggests that the developer is not engaging to the extent that the council wants,” he said.

Cllr Mullins said the €100,000 should not be exhausted if more work is needed due to the new development.

Cllr Aisling Moran was frustrated that a lot of unfinished work is left behind in many estates.

“The people who have spent so much money on houses are the ones that suffer. It should not be that way. If the builder does not complete it by a certain time then the bond is gone and it should be a substantial bond,” he said.

She added that better enforcement is also needed as public money is spent finishing estates where a developer has walked away scot free.