The Orchard Estate is located by the busy shoppin centre in Stradbally
Residents have taken matters into their own hands at a housing estate in Stradbally to protect their children says a councillor who insists that Laois County Council must step in to help them.
Cllr Paschal McEvoy, Fianna Fáil, made the claim and call recently after he was told that Laois County Council could not yet take over responsiblity of the Orchard estate which is close to the busy SuperValu.
He raised the issue at the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting when he asked if the council could give a time as to when it could be taken in charge.
Mr Jim O’ Sullivan, Building Control Officer, gave a list of works needed to be completed before we can commence the taking in charge process.
These included the replacement of hydrant cover, works to surface water manholes, replacement of footpaths, reinstatement of road which has subsided as well as a wayleave issue.
However, Cllr McEvoy was not pleased. He claimed the developer who built the homes no longer has an involvement while the the council and a voluntary housing body has taken over 18 of the houses.
"It is at a stage now where the residents have taken things into their own hands. They have put up signs to stop traffic. I have met them an could not tell them they are doing anything wrong. They are only protecting their children...They are up in arms" he said.
Cllr McEvoy believed that the builders bond, from which could be used to complete the works listed, has been returned to the developer which leaves just one option. However, he asked for further investigation as to the status of the bond.
"The onus is on the Council to put this right," he insisted. "It's a serious situation and it needs to be resolved," he said.
Cllr McEvoy added that council purchased the final six houses in August 2020 from the developer and the outstanding issues should have been resolved at that time.
Cllr McEvoy was supported by Cllr Aisling Moran of Fine Gael challenged the returning of the bond by the local authority with work undone.
"The council is at fault here. They should take it in charge. If the bond is gone the council should do the jobs," she said.
Cllr Aidan Mullins highlighted similar questions about the status of the bond and why it was allowed to lapse or was returned to the council.
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