A COURT injunction by residents of the city’s Rosehill estate calling for the immediate completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the estate was again adjourned in Kilkenny Court on Friday, with the next hearing of the case scheduled for July 9.
Barrister Robbie O’Neill, representing landowners John and Elaine Barry, requested that the matter be adjourned to a later date as his clients have applied for a €153,000 loan from AIB to carry out the works necessary to comply with the planning permission, and as they are awaiting a decision on an application for retention permission for a section of road and an electricity sub-station in the estate.
He told the court that, in order to know exactly how much money would be required for the works, they had had to liaise with the residents. The Barrys then made an application to AIB, he said, and are awaiting a decision from the bank.
He said they were due to meet with the bank this week but that he “couldn’t say when AIB will give us a decision” and that “it could be as much as 60 days.”
He said it was expected that the decision on the retention permission would be completed in or around a month’s time from now.
Hallmark Building and Civil Engineering Ltd, which is developing the social and affordable housing in the estate, was represented by barrister Brian Kearney. He told the court that the residents had lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanála regarding the development and that he had “an indication that the board may have a decision sometime in April.”
The court also heard that there was a bond of €374,000 in place for Phases 1 and 2 of the estate.
Solicitor John Harte, representing Kilkenny County Council, told the court that the council had issued enforcement notices but that “we understand that finance is an issue. If they can obtain funding from AIB, we understand it is their intention to complete the estate.”
He said local authorities were reluctant to draw down a bond in cases where a developer could be called on to carry out the work, as the money is also supposed to cover maintenance of an estate’s infrastructure until it is taken over by the council, and it would also further take time to put the works out to tender.
Judge Tom Teehan ruled that “the least-bad outcome is that the matter should go back further to see what further progress can be made.”
He adjourned the matter on the basis that Mr O’Neill’s and Mr Kearney’s solicitors must keep the plaintiff’s solicitor “apprised at all times on any developments which are significant to the issues that are raised in this case.”
“I am not impressed by the fact that it was necessary for the plaintiff’s solicitor to write on three occasions before they got a response in writing,” he said. “That was certainly not what I intended when I adjourned the matter in December last year.”
He then scheduled the matter for July 9.