Longford granted
€400,000 for
safety on estates

Longford County Council has released details of funding for 18 unfinished housing developments across County Longford.

Longford County Council has released details of funding for 18 unfinished housing developments across County Longford.

A total of just under €400,000 has been allocated to deal with public safety issues in these developments around the county as part of a €5m national Government fund.

The allocation was announced at this month’s meeting of Longford County Council on Monday evening when council officials confirmed the existence of 114 unfinished estates throughout the county.

At the top of the funding list was Stonepark’s Silver Birches estate, courtesy of a €65,000 cash injection, followed by the Forthill estate in Aughnacliffe (€49,054) with Longford town’s White Linen Woods’ development the third largest benefactor with €39,100.

Funding was also allocated to Radharc na Choill in Cullyfad (€29,140); Hazelwood in Legan (e30,763); McArt Meadows in Newtownforbes (€25,100); Sli Corglass in Moyne (€36,100) and Rath na gCarraige in Carrickboy (€17,688). Caislean Breac in Newtownforbes secured €17,100; while Abbeyview in Abbeylara acquired €19,816; The Mill in Clondra received €17,700 while Clough Dillons in Kenagh obtained €11,700. Meanwhile, Cnoc na Greine in Granard was afforded a €10,200 total.

At the lower end of the scale, sums of under €10,000 have been allocated to Abhainn Glas, Edgeworthstown; Sliabh Rua, Drumlish, Woodland Park, Cullyfad, The Rocks, Stonepark and Mastersons Court, Abbeylara.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting, Senior Executive Officer Terry Rooney revealed the past ten months had been a “learning curve” for the council’s newly devised unfinished estates committee in its attempts to track down developers as well as dealing with banks and receivership companies.

Adding that a further 24 estates were likely to be submitted to the Department of Environment for additional funding, Mr Rooney said securing access to many of the 114 estates identified as being half finished was also posing its own set of problems.

“This money is purely for public safety issues and for us, we have had to learn as we have gone along. Developers are unable to get funding, companies are being struck off before proceedings have commenced and then there is a lack of response from some developers in that they are not answering their phone,” he said.

Mr Rooney also confirmed that over one third, or 48, of the remaining estates were still being assessed by council staff with enforcement proceedings presently being carried out in 22 developments.

Mr Rooney accepted the local authority may have to resort to bulldozing some of the worst affected areas.

“In some of the estates yes, there is an element of this,” he said in response to a question submitted by Cllr Denis Glennon.

However, a number of councillors headed by Cllr Peggy Nolan took issue with the fact that the funding would not deal with public lighting on these developments.

“Well, I’m sorry, lighting is a health and safety issue, public lighting is essential,” said Cllr Nolan, a view which was also shared by Cllr PJ Reilly.