Longford County Manager, Tim Caffrey said Longford had now redeemed itself following its once notorious reputation for unfinished estates.
The manager’s sentiments were expressed during a meeting of the Ballymahon Municipal District which heard that there were 38 unfinished estates in the district, 13 of which had now been taken in charge by Longford Co Council.
“We in Longford have come from being one of the worst in relation to unfinished estates to one of the best in terms of finished estates,” Mr Caffrey added. “A huge effort has been made by Terry [Rooney], Barry [Lynch] and the Department to get us to where we are today and I want to thank them for all their help and support.”
Meanwhile, the meeting heard further details regarding the estates that have now been taken in charge, and more information emerged with regard to developments that have not.
“There are 25 estates left and there are currently site resolution plans in relation to them,” added Terry Rooney, head of unfinished estates.
In Ballymahon, Moyvale, Church View, Auburn Village, Cluain Rí and Creevagh Beg have been taken in charge, the meeting heard. The remainder - Thomond Hall, Dunanás, Hawthorn Meadows, An Draighnean and Hill Crescent are currently embroiled in legal matters. “At the moment we are working with the developer in respect of Thomond Hall with a view to achieving compliance,” continued Mr Rooney. “We have initiated court proceedings in relation to Hawthorn Meadows.
Meanwhile over in Kenagh Clough Ree, Crannagh and Cluain Cronach have been taken in charge while negotiations continue in respect of the Cartrons and Clough Dillon developments. Over in Abbeyshrule Barley Gardens and Corncrake Meadows have been taken in charge while, in Ballycloughan, where according to Mr Rooney“one of the worst estates in the country” lies - Rath na gCarraige, legal problems have emerged. “The developer hasn’t the money to contribute towards finishing out the estate,” added Mr Rooney. “However this is a major priority one and we are working on it.”
In Edgeworthstown, Cloverwell, Goldsmith Meadows and Abhainn Glás have been taken in charge, while the local authority is currently working with the bond company in respect of the commencement of works at Shannon Park. “The developer is commencing works at Chestnut View and we have secured an order against the developer to get bond in place for Mostrim Oaks,” said Mr Rooney. “The bond has been secured for Bracklin Park and new public lighting has been provided for at Chapel Lane.”
The meeting also heard that works would begin at Pairc na hAbhainn in six weeks time and once the developer has completed necessary works at Auburn Court, Longford Co Council will then take that development in charge. Auburn Park will be taken in charge next year and Cluain na Sidhe in Killashee has just had remedial works completed there.
Over in Lanesboro, Cnoc na Gaoithe has been taken in charge and Radharc na Muleann is expected to be taken in charge next year, while Coll Choill in Legan has also been taken in charge. Rath Reagh in the village is currently unoccupied and the local authority has plans to take the Rock View estate in charge at some point next year. In Moydow, Slí na Moinear has had a site resolution plan put in place and a site resolution plan has also been established for Stonepark’s Silver Birches.
Cllr Paul Ross (FG) then pointed out that there was a delay with infrastructural works at Chapel Lane and asked why this was happening. Mr Rooney subsequently explained that the ESB had yet to turn on supply there.
Kenagh local area representative, Cllr Colm Murray (FG) then asked for an update on the Catrons estate in the village. “An individual bought those four or five houses,” Mr Rooney answered. “He says now that he has to buy land in order to finish off works on the estate, so we will be in touch with him again about this; he is going to have to comply with planning conditions there.”
Cllr Murray then added, “Those houses were ravaged; boilers taken out of them and everything.”