Cllr Tom Mulhall
A Fine Gael county councillor does not want coucil housing built on a idle €1 million site in Stradbally which was earmarked for public housing during the Celtic Tiger.
In a statement Cllr Tom Mulhall said local authority houses are needed but so are community facilities.
Cllr Mulhall said there are 29 people on the housing list with addresses in Stradbally. Under the Rebuilding Ireland construction programme, he said 62 local houses are earmarked for Carri Glass near the town's playground. He said the land at Carrig Glass was purchased by Laois County Council for housing in 2006 for more than € 1 million. The money was borrowed from the Housing Finance Agency with agreement that it all be used for housing. He believes this should not proceed.
“I am pleading with the Council to reconsider this housing development at this site and maybe look at a smaller more convenient site for a smaller number of houses.
“Stradbally has no community centre, a very outdated health centre and a number of vacant residential and business units.
“The site at Carrig Glass would be very suitable for an amenity area which already has children's play ground and had a very success full allotments.
“There could be the community centre and all weather pitch on this site. I feel this could be very doable with collaboration between the people of Stradbally the local councillors and Laois County Council,” he said.
He said the council's plan would see the houses built in three phases. He said this does not have the support of the community or other cuncillors.
As a compomise he said just one small phase could be acceptable with the remainder of the site dedicated to socialcommunity buildings.
He pointed to some progress in meeting the demand. The Fine Gael representative said 16 houses were under construction for the over 55s and people with slight disabilities at Court View.
He said Laois County Council recently purchased 6 houses in the Orchid. He said private development is also on track.
“There is also permission granted for a private development of 73 houses at the rear of Church Avenue with a Part 5 provision which means the council will own seven of these units,” he said.