Fix houses in Bishop Birch before they fall - McGuinness

A HOUSE which, it has been claimed, is being pushed forward by the public road is in danger of falling. The houses on either side of Jenifer Boutag in Bishop birch Place, Kilkenny, off the Hebron Road Industrial Estate are being monitored by the County Council and one has, it is being claimed, had steel girders placed under it, to ensure it does not suffer the same fate as Jenifer’s home.

A HOUSE which, it has been claimed, is being pushed forward by the public road is in danger of falling. The houses on either side of Jenifer Boutag in Bishop birch Place, Kilkenny, off the Hebron Road Industrial Estate are being monitored by the County Council and one has, it is being claimed, had steel girders placed under it, to ensure it does not suffer the same fate as Jenifer’s home.

Nobody has come forward to help her. She is blaming the public road and the fact that the houses were built on a former sand pit which was also used to get rid of old tyres for the problems.

The house is a former local authority house which it is claimed by Cllr Andrew McGuinness is one of a number of houses in Bishop Birch Place sinking, which are being monitored by Kilkenny County Council for some years.

“Parts of the road network in Bishop Birch Place is obviously sinking and during rainy weather this is most evident with huge pools of water in various parts of it,” Cllr McGuinness claimed.

“Many residents have complained about this and it seems that their houses are sinking towards the road as if the road was pulling them in,” he said.

Following numerous representations from Cllr McGuinness the council has issued one reply: “The senior executive is preparing a report on the case of subsidence in Bishop Birch. This report will be collated over a period of time and brought to the appropriate County Council meeting.”

“Residents are very concerned about this because it has been an issue for them for many years and the structure of their homes is deteriorating rapidly. It seems to be in one particular part of the estate and it looks as if the houses are sinking towards the road.”

“Kilkenny County Council has put a number of measures on structural cracks in some houses but it is blatantly obvious that there is a serious problem in Jenifer’s house. I don’t believe there is any need for further reports or observations, these homes need to be rectified as a matter of urgency and I’m calling on the local authority to do so before the problem escalates.

“One of the houses in question is a private home but I believe the local authority should take responsibility for repairing this house also as the issue seems to be with the road. The house is also attached to another Council property that is sinking and has been monitored for a number of years.”

“The site this estate was built on is a former sand pit and part of it was also used as a dump for old tyres so I’m sure there are issues with the foundations and that is something that should have been taken into consideration when this estate was planned by the local authority in the first place.”

“The residents group in Bishop Birch have done fantastic work over the years and that is evident throughout the estate and in the community centre. The local authority should return the same respect and ensure their homes are safe, secure and that no further damage takes place, so I am calling on them to fix these houses before they fall,” he said.

Jenifer Boutag feels she has no where to turn and has appealed to the county Council to help her. “I can’t get insurance because on the form they ask you if your house is subsiding or if the houses next to you are being monitored. They are and I am left in limbo with no one to help me and i just can’t afford to move,” she added.