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02 Jul 2022

'Deathtrap estate' an invitation for claims, meeting told

Two Graiguecullen estates waiting for Laois council takeover

Meadows Way in Graiguecullen

A council meeting was told a Laois housing estate is a deathtrap due to open manhole covers and trip hazards.

Cllr Ben Brennan raised a number of issues in relation to the Meadows Way estate in Graiguecullen.  

He said “this is going on for years and years” and claimed “it is an absolute deathtrap at the moment, manholes open, lids broken.” 

According to Cllr Brennan, “it is just an invitation for someone to make a claim, that’s what I think, and it is wrong that it is left like that for so long.” 

He noted there are beautiful houses there but said the estate has been left in a dangerous state.  “There was a boundary fence put in of pure timber, lovely timber, and it was all taken out and burnt and it wasn’t the people in the housing estate that burned it,” he remarked.  

He claimed a road in the estate has to be replaced as well as it is sinking. 

Cllr Brennan had put down a motion asking: “That Laois County Council give an update on the taking in charge of Meadows Way Housing Estate in Graiguecullen. This housing estate is very unsafe to live in with broken manholes and unfinished footpaths”

A response by Evelyn Brownrigg, A.O Planning at Laois County Council was read at the meeting by Senior Executive Engineer, Philip McVeigh. It stated: “A list of works has been agreed with the developer on the 4/05/22, namely, sealing of infiltration into foul sewer, repairs to footpaths, reinstatement of damaged base course, raising of ironwork, provision of wearing course, repairs to cycle lane and completion of same and minor landscaping works.  The developer has indicated that work will start on the above on 30/05/22 and will take approximately three weeks to complete. Once these works are completed, we should be able to recommend for taking in charge.”

Cllr Brennan was unhappy that Ms Brownrigg wasn’t present. “We are putting in motions here and the problem is the person that writes the answer isn’t here to answer,” he remarked.   He asked for a commitment from the council that the estate would be taken in charge. 

Director of Services Gerry Murphy said: “I can’t give any guarantees on behalf of the developer.” He told Cllr Brennan that “we have to be hopeful because a list of works have been agreed.”  

Cllr Brennan said “it is an absolute and utter deathtrap. There’s a manhole there, no support, not even a thing around it. The manholes and gullies all broken; it's a death trap.” 

Cllr Padraig Fleming said “I think there is no reason why the council and the developer, they should do everything that can be done to get it right because it can't be taken in charge unless it is all done.” 

Cllr Aidan Mullins offered his support to Cllr Brennan. He said a year ago to the month, he too put down a motion in relation to the estate.  

“The enforcement and planning has done nothing since July 21 to progress this. A year later we have to chase it up again and that estate has been left  in this situation where there is trip hazards, there’s  holes, there’s manhole covers that are not properly fixed,” he said.  

Mr Murphy suggested that Cllr Brennan should visit the planning office in order to view the agreed list of works for himself.

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