06 Jul 2022

Laois council urged to 'start chasing' errant developers who leave estates unfinished for years

Construction unions call on employers to ensure extra protections for workers

Long after the scaffolding is removed and people have moved in estates remain unfinished

A new twist in the completion of a Celtic Tiger estate has caused councillors to question if Laois County Council is holding developers to task for unfinished work.

The issue arose with councillors were given an update on the taking into charge of Crosneen Manor, Graiguecullen The Council’s Director of Services Mr Gerry Murphy at the Portarlington, Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

“The Planning Department has contacted the Developer, Millar Developments. They have expressed an interest in resolving the outstanding issues with a view to ultimately having Crossneen Manor taken in Charge. It should be noted that it will take  a number of months to resolve these issues, but they are not insurmountable and will be resolved with the cooperation of the developer,” he said.

Cllr Aidan Mullins said he and other council members had raised concerns about the estate many times. He said he was surprised by the developer’s latest stance.

“To find out the Millar developments is expressing an interest in resolving the outstanding issues is absolutely astonishing years after this should have been done,” he said.

He said there are just minor issues outstanding but it has taken years to get to a point where the developer seems to have made a commitment.

“I think that Planning should be more proactive in chasing these developers to do the work that they're supposed to do," he said.

The Sinn Féin councillor hoped the Crossneen episode was finally reaching a satisfactory conclusion for the people living in the homes. 

I just don't get it doesn't make sense to me. I hope this is the end of the affair. It’s a long-running and saga,” he said.

Cllr Aisling Moran agreed.

“I think enforcement is a serious issue that we have. Every month we have the same conversations about bonds and developers...We need to start enforcing on every aspect of planning and park,” she said.

She said there is no penalty on developers who leave estates unfinished nor is there a restriction on their ability to build elsewhere in the county.

The Fine Gael representative suggested extra dedicated staff could solve the problem with incurring extra costs as the costs recouped from developers would cover salaries.

Cllr Padraig Fleming also agreed. The Fianna Fáil man said Crosneen Manor has been an issue for many years but without success. He hoped the process would not take much longer.

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