Pyramids built faster than 22 Laois council houses says councillor

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

The pyramids in Egypt were built quicker than the time it is taking for Laois County Council to build 22 houses in Portarlington according to a councillor.

Cllr Aidan Mullins said it is going to be four and a half years between the announcement of plans for the council houses and the time anybody gets a key to the house.

He said the bureaucracy associated with planning and building houses is ‘crazy stuff’. He was speaking at Wednesday’s Portarlington Municipal District meeting.

“You may bring down the TV cameras for the breaking of the sod on this one because the pyramids were built quicker.

“I know a lot of it is outside of the control of the council this stage one, two, three and four, is absolute madness for the construction of social housing.

“This is three years going on, we are talking about 22 houses taking four and a half years to build. The [national] children’s hospital will be finished before them. It’s crazy stuff, I know it’s not the fault of the council but the bureaucracy has to stop with regard to building.

“Look at 22 houses, you give that to a private developer he’d have them designed in the month and the drawings done and start building a month later and they’d be in them within 12 to 18 months. Whenever this State gets involved in stuff they are able to mess it up and destroy it. Twenty-two houses in four years is absolute crazy stuff,” he said.

Cllr Mullins was speaking in response to a notice of motion tabled by Cllr Tom Mulhall asking for an update on the houses. The council’s housing section said the new 22 house estate is at Stage 4 of departmental approval. Head of Finance at the council, Gerry Murphy, said the houses are expected to take another 12 to 18 months depending on the developer.

Cllr Mulhall welcomed the houses as he said people on the housing list in Portarlington are currently privately renting and ‘not living in wonderful conditions’.

“Some of these people are waiting on the housing list and they are in private rented [accomodation] but they are not living in wonderful conditions.

“Now I have been with three or four families and they are not living in good conditions. The sooner the better these 22 houses are built for more people on that housing list. By this time next year, 22 families will be able to move into their 2 bed or 3-bed houses in Ballymorris,” he said.