Kilkenny councillor says developers 'playing ducks and drakes' over unfinished estates

'I think we have to go after these people' says Cllr Dunphy

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

PILTOWN MUNICIPAL DISTRICT

Ferrybank local area office

A local councillor has said Kilkenny needs to step up efforts to get developers to complete works in housing estates left unfinished, and get tougher on those dragging their heels.

At the Piltown Municipal District meeting last week, Cllr Pat Dunphy was responding to an updated list of estates in the south Kilkenny area. In some cases, sites are unfinished, bonds are being drawn down, and the council is trying to engage with developers and residents to progress taking them in charge.

Of the 51 on the list, 20 have now been taken in charge, and one estate — Cooleigh, Carrigeen, has been taken in charge since the last review. There has been progress on some of the others.

“There is a lot of work done — there’s no doubt about that — but there is still a lot to be done,” said Cllr Pat Dunphy.

“And it’s just going on and on. Estates aren’t being taken in charge, and residents don’t know where they are. We will have to speed up this issue. Don’t give them any more time.”

The Fine Gael councillor said the council was letting some cases drag on. He said if developers were not prepared to carry out works after having been asked months ago, the bonds should be called in.

“Some are playing ducks and drakes with us,” he said.

“The council have helped out here and there, but I think we have to close these out and go after these people.”

Cllr Melissa O’ Neill said that some estates were having to deal with two councils for different issues. She said she was ‘disgusted’ to see the amount of Enforcement Notices that had to be issued, and criticised developers who had failed to complete projects and had left parts of Kilkenny in a poor state.

She said it was great to see other developers ‘coming into the area to help’ improve the situation. Administrator Kevin Hanley said enforcement was being pursued by the council where it was appropriate.

“It is a complicated process,” he said.

Cllr Pat Dunphy maintained it was taking ‘too long’. Cllr Ger Frisby wanted to know if there was any update on the Fairways on Rockshire Road.

“It seems to be very slow,” he said.

“I’m referring to that issue of a falling wall regularly. Something has to be done on that. The developer is saying it’s not his responsibility.

"It has to be someone’s responsibility. It’s a huge danger, it’s an eyesore, and a crazy situation that needs to be solved.”

Cllr Tomás Breathnach said it was important the councillors acknowledged the work done by Anne Maria Walsh on the issue of the unfinished housing developments when it was under her remit.