THE frustrated residents of Kilkenny’s Robersthill housing estate will shortly be given an indication of the next stage in the ongoing saga over the estate’s development.
Senior engineer Kieran Fitzgerald told Monday night’s meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council that a snag list had been issued to the developer of the site, and that the council was awaiting a response in the coming days.
“I understand from the developer and his advisers that they are sending a Schedule of Works,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
“We assure members that if the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, it is time to move on to other proceedings.”
Cllr Kathleen Funchion (SF) said the time had come to adopt a new stance.
“I think at this stage, we know the developer is not willing to carry out the works, for whatever reason,” she said.
“I don’t think we are any further along than this time last year.”
However, Town Clerk Brian Tyrrell said that he did not agree that no progress had been made since last year. He said that the best way to obtain a positive outcome for the situation was to await the report before exploring the legal avenue available to Kilkenny Local Authorities.
Mayor David Fitzgerald said that road safety measures would need to be prioritised, given that children would now be playing outside during the summer.
“One issue consistently raised by residents is the issue of speed ramps,” he said.
“Where do we stand on that now? Surely the safety of children in the estate is a matter of priority?”
Kieran Fitzgerald said he could not answer fully without seeing the developer’s programme of works, which is expected in the coming days. However, he said the issue would be addressed.
“One way or another, traffic-calming measures will be implemented,” he said.
Borough council members asked that both councillors and residents of the estate be kept abreast of all developments, pending the arrival of the Schedule of Works.
“Residents in the area have been more than patient with this,” said Cllr Martin Brett (FG).
“If you are not satisfied with the list, should we have a special meeting?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Cllr Sean O’ hArgain (LAB) sought clarification over what defined an unfinished housing estate, given the exemption from the Household Charge for certain estates.
Currently, the Robertshill Residents Association is hosting an online poll on its website, which asks users to vote on whether homeowners in the estate should have to pay the Household Charge. Three quarters of voters so far have responded that the estate is unfinished, and should thus be exempt.