Landsdowne problems ongoing

the developers behind a housing estate in Portarlington have pledged to finish the job but residents have their doubts.

the developers behind a housing estate in Portarlington have pledged to finish the job but residents have their doubts.

Kingscroft Developments told the Leinster Expres that Landsdowne Estate in Portarlington will be fully completed, but a resident believes there will be a long wait before all the problems, including broken paths and water leaks, are solved.

Nick Collins, managing director with Kingscroft told the Leinster Express they are continuing work on the estate.

“We haven’t run away, we are still operating on site, with a crew size commensurate with the work. We are in business since 2006, moving with the market. I can alleviate their concerns, we have been dealing with their concerns since they got on to us in February. We do have a maintenance process. There is a site manager on site,” he said.

Mr Collins says they have been dealing with problems raised to them by Laois County Council last March, and intend to complete all three phases in the estate, which is off the Ballymorris road.

Recently the company, who have built 3,500 Irish homes, and more in the UK and the Czech Republic, were granted an extension of five years to their planning permission by Laois County Council.

So far the MD says 130 houses are complete in the Port development, with 120 yet to be constructed.

“We have 17 empty houses, but 11 of those are in the new part of Castlelea. We don’t have an issue with getting the houses rented or sold, but we have been approached by a few people who prefer to rent at the moment,” he said.

He disagreed that there was a health and safety issue with unsecured fencing allowing children access into the unfinished building site.

“We will have a look at that, I think it is from an aesthetic point of view,” he said.

Mr Collins said he has spoken to Paul Deegan from the residents association about problems.

According to resident James Caffrey, Mr Collins promised to install streetlights and streetnames signs immediately.

Mr Caffrey, himself a builder, says this would be a big improvement but is still concerned about temporary fencing, and continuous water mains leaks.

“I don’t feel reassured. They had ample opportunity but they have dragged their heels up to now. We would like them to build walls instead of steel railing to block off roads where they are not going to build houses soon. Our concern is what are we supposted to do for another four years. I didn’t pay €280,000 for my house to look out at horrible railing. They got good money, they should finish the phases properly. I think it is very wrong that the council gave an extension of the planning when they haven’t got phase one or two finished, they will end up carrying the can,” he said.