Appeal suggests estate should
be demolished not finished

A Newtownforbes couple have suggested an unfinished housing estate in Drumlish should be fully demolished and the site returned to its original condition, after Longford County Council granted permission for the eight-house estate to be finished.

A Newtownforbes couple have suggested an unfinished housing estate in Drumlish should be fully demolished and the site returned to its original condition, after Longford County Council granted permission for the eight-house estate to be finished.

Roger and Eleanor Ward, Prucklish, Newtownforbes, who own land adjacent to the development, have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against Longford County Council’s decision to grant approval to plans to finish the housing estate at MacArt Meadows, Leitrim Cross in Drumlish.

The development at Leitrim Cross, just off the main Longford Drumlish road, is owned by County Mayor Cllr Frank Kilbride and Enda Sheridan’s company, which is now in the receivership of Farrell Grant Sparks. The site once had planning permission for a restaurant and bar as well as 12 houses. Ten houses were built, two of which are occupied, and a further two were constructed to slab level.

Longford County Council granted permission for the demolition of two of the houses and the two at slab level, and for works to be carried out in the estate to finish it to an acceptable level.

Mr and Mrs Ward, through their agent, Brendan Muldowney Solicitors, objected to the permission on the grounds that the project is “demonstratively unsustainable,” stating, “it is more appropriate that planning permission be refused and an order made that the entire existing property be demolished and the site returned to its original condition.”

Michael Murphy Consulting Engineers, acting for the applicants, stated “it is not possible for an order to be made for the entire existing property to be demolished and the site returned to its original condition. House numbers one to eight are complete with all road works and site works completed. Two number dwellings are purchased and occupied.”

The appellants also state in the appeal documents, seen by the Leader, that it can be “assumed that the reason for the present application is financial only and it is not a proper, legal or moral ground to obtain planning permission in this instance especially when there is an oversupply of dwelling houses within this region and within the Longford region in general.”

However, Murphy Consulting Engineers point out that the appellants had planning permission for six houses in a neighbouring site. “The appellant’s attitude of not in my back yard is totally unacceptable, especially in view of the fact that the appellant had permission for the housing development immediately adjoining the estate.

“It has been recognised that this site represents a health and safety hazard. The grant of permission to carry out the proposed works can only eliminate these factors whilst completing the estate to such an aesthetic standard to render it attractive to not only the residents, but to the neighbours in that vicinity.”

“It appears to be the appellants intention that the estate will remain indefinitely a ghost estate by their actions. There currently exists an opportunity for the completion of the estate to an acceptable standard on a greatly reduced scale.”