Work on unfinished estates to cost City Hall €1.35m

Work on unfinished estates to cost City Hall €1.35m
1st October 2018....... Cllr Ken O'Flynn at Riverview Rise in Ballyvolane Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CITY HALL will spend €1.35m on infrastructure and public realm issues around housing estates which have been left unfinished.

The figure was revealed following a query from Councillor Sean Martin (FF) as to whether bonds were sought from developers to pay for completing supporting infrastructure such as roads, lighting and sewers.

City Hall director of housing, Brian Geaney, said the process of ‘taking in charge’ housing developments has already begun in 34 social and affordable housing estates which have yet to be formally taken over by the Council.

“The project involves intensive engagement with a range of stakeholders, which is currently underway, including the utility providers.

Once this process is completed, a programme of works will be implemented,” he said.

“The vast majority of the estates listed were developed under Part 8 planning consent and as such a bond condition will not apply,” he added.

Councillor Joe Kavanagh (FG) highlighted Orchard Court in Blackpool, which was constructed in 1999 but has yet to have its maintenance taken over by Cork City Council.

Ken O’Flynn (FF) said the problem of unfinished housing estates is citywide and funds are needed from the Department of Housing to tackle the problem.

“Here we are in 2019 and Orchard Court estate still isn’t taken in charge. This is an example of the plethora of estates in the city at the moment.”

“We’re now in a situation where we have people across the city in housing estates that do not have proper lighting and cannot get one replaced if it goes out,” Mr O’Flynn said.

“The least that Cork City Council can do is ensure that bonds are in place. This is going on since the 1980s where we allow builders to build estates and then we discover that there is no bond in place.

“Estates are left half finished, have potholes, have problems with ducting, water flows and we are doing nothing to take them in charge. That is not fair on our citizens. We should now be looking to central Government to rectify the mistakes we made.”

When a residential development is carried out and completed the developer may make a written request to Cork City Council to have the public areas of the development taken in charge such as roads, footpaths, car parking areas, public open spaces and services. Alternatively, a majority of residents may also make a written request to the Council.

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