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03 Dec 2021

Laois Council called on to 'step up to the mark' in Killenard

Call to solve problems in Rathmiles estate

Laois Council called on to 'step up to the mark' in Killenard

A so-called gated community in Killenard that has faced unresolved problems years since their houses were built is facing more homes being built nearby without the protection of a bond that could have sorted out the existing problems.

Cllr Aisling Moran said the residents of Rathmiles cannot find a solution because a loophole allowed the development to happen without an insurance bond having to be lodged.

She described the situation as ‘disgraceful’ and said the council is not doing its job ‘to protect residents’.

Cllr Moran raised the issue supported by fellow councillors at the recent Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

“No bond was put on it because it was a gated community. It is not a gated community but they are still having problems years on,” she said.

She claimed more houses are being built in the estate and no bond is required their either.
Bonds are normal lodged to ensure snags with roads, sewage, lights etc can be dealt with after estates are finished. They are not used if a developer carries out the work in agreement with a local authorities.

“Have we not learned from the Celtic Tiger era?...The bond is there to protect the people who own the homes,” said the Fine Gael councillor.
She said a substantial bond should be lodged to ensure all services are installed and no builder should be building anything without a bond.

“It’s disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful,” she said.

“We are here to protect the residents and we are not doing our job,” she said.

Cllr Padraig Fleming, Fianna Fáil, confirmed that there have been a lot of problems with the estate over many years. He agreed that there had never been a bond lodged to cover costs.

“There was some agreement that there was no bond required,” he said.

He said a management company was due to look after the estate but a lot of difficulties have emerged with this system for the residents.

“The residents have been stopped cutting grass in public areas. It is a difficult situation and I do not know how it is going to be resolved,” he claimed.

Cllr Moran called on the council can resolve the issue by taking the estate in charge. She said if the council decided against a bond then the local authorities should fix the roads and other problems.

“We need to step up to the mark here,” she said.

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