LISTOWEL does not have any ' ghost estates' and a recent government report which showed that the town has one of the largest concentrations of unfinished housing estates gave a misleading picture of the town's appearance, the local Mayor insisted this week.
Mayor of Listowel Tom Barry believes the recent Department of Environment report was misleading and says his view has been vindicated by the publication of a report that sets out exactly the situation in Listowel.
The government report last month claimed Listowel has more unfinished housing estates than any other town in Kerry and ranks eighth among all towns nationwide. It was published to some consternation and anger in Listowel, where people felt it gave a bad impression of the town.
In a report presented to Listowel Town Council on Monday night, Town Engineer Michael McEnery showed that of the 16 Listowel housing estates mentioned in the December report, six are actually outside of the town boundary while another estate straddles both the town and county council jurisdictions.
Mr McEnery's report suggests that most of the estates in Listowel are largely finished. It appears they were included in the government survey where inspectors found two or more houses unoccupied.
"It is important to note that Listowel does not have any of the "ghost estates" that have blighted many cities, towns and villages in Ireland and the follow-on problems that they have created," Mr McEnery concluded in his report.
"I feel the government report gave a somewhat misleading picture of Listowel," Mayor Barry told The Kerryman. "Michael McEnery's report was very welcome and extremely comprehensive and I think its findings vindicate my view. I certainly don't think Listowel has a major problem with regard to unfinished estates and it's clear that we don't have ghost estates at least," the Mayor said.