Thursday, April 13, 2017

LAOIS County Council has been urged to draw down the €300,000 bond for Crossneen Manor in Graiguecullen, so that long-delayed works can be completed to “a gold standard”.

The appeal was made at a council meeting, after it emerged that the bond for the housing estate on the Leighlin Road will expire next September.

Details were revealed by council officials at the latest meeting of Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District, after cllr Aidan Mullins asked for an update on plans to take the estate in charge.

Cllr Mullins recalled that planning permission for Crossneen Manor was granted 13 years ago and an application to build more houses there was turned down last month.

Planning official Pat Delaney said the developer has not complied with all conditions of the planning permission and there are still some remaining works. The bond will expire on 7 September and the council hopes progress will be made on finishing the works before the bond expires.

Cllr Mullins replied that he was delighted to hear the bond is still in place, as he had asked the council not to let it lapse back in 2014 and he was glad this was followed through.

He pointed out that some footpaths in the estate are in poor condition and a former crèche, which contained a disabled toilet, is no longer in operation. When the crèche was running, it had only six parking spaces. People were using residents’ parking areas, so he felt the council should ensure that there were no disputes over parking if there were plans for the building.

Cllr Mullins asked that repairs to a road surface − which was damaged when a car was burned out in the estate − should be added to the list of works to be completed. He also urged the council to call in the bond now, if possible, rather than “chasing” the developer.

He said: “I’d ask you to call in that bond, carry out all the works in the estate and landscape it. There is a €300,000 bond there, so we can do it to a gold standard.”

Cllr Tom Mulhall felt developers of new estates should “clean up their act” and finish outstanding works, as delays couldn’t always be blamed on the county council.

He said: “It’s up to developers to complete an estate before they can consider asking Laois County Council to take it in charge. We always seem to be on a begging mission and we shouldn’t be.”

Mr Delaney told the meeting that if remaining works were not finished at Crossneen Manor before the bond expires, the county council would look at the possibility of calling in the bond closer to the expiry date.

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By Carmel Hayes
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