Jake’s parents’ anger

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

A Kilkenny housing estate where a six-year-old boy died after being hit by a car in June was supposed to have speed ramps, according to the planning permission it was granted.

A Kilkenny housing estate where a six-year-old boy died after being hit by a car in June was supposed to have speed ramps, according to the planning permission it was granted.

Planning permission for the development, Lintown Hall, was given on May 23, 2000. However, the ramps were never built, and Kilkenny County Council issued an Enforcement Notice in 2010, giving the developer three months to build them. The Notice warned that the developer may be guilty of an offence if outstanding works were not completed. Residents had also petitioned the council for the ramps to be built as far back as 2009, and had spent their own money to erect traffic-calming signage.

However, the ramps were not put in place by developers, Newlyn Developments Limited and Willowbridge Developments Ltd. The latter is now in receivership.

Six-year-old Jake Brennan was knocked down and killed by a car near his home in the estate in June this year. An inquest into his death is yet to be held, and a Garda investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

Determined to turn their grief into something positive, Jake’s parents, Roseann and Chris, began a campaign to ensure speed ramps are made a mandatory condition of the development of any new residential estate.

In 2010, Kilkenny County Council issued Newlyn Developments and Willowbridge Developments with the Enforcement Notice.

The council warned that proceedings under Section 154 of the Planning and Development Act would be brought if the terms of the Notice were not complied with within three months, and that the developer may be guilty of an offence if the steps specified were not taken.

The Enforcement Notice also warned that if these steps were not taken by the developer, the county council ‘may enter on the land and take such steps, including the removal, demolition or alteration of any structure and recover from you any expenses reasonably incurred by them in that behalf’ – in other words, complete the necessary work and bill Newlyn Developments Ltd and Willowbridge Developments Ltd for the costs involved.

The council’s Enforcement Notice sets out that the developer has three months to comply with four conditions of the planning permission. As well as the traffic calming measures, this included the construction of two children’s playgrounds and a full landscaping scheme in the estate.

In spite of this, the required works remain uncompleted to this day. The council this week said it was unable to comment on an individual Enforcement Notice.