Thursday 22 March 2018

Willow Grove residents call

Willow Grove residents brought their concerns about their estate all the way to Dundalk Town Hall last week.

People living in the Carrick Road estate appealed to councillors to 'assist us in having our estate taken in charge.'

In a statement handed to each councillor as they went into the meeting the residents outlined how their estate was built in 1978 with 98 houses completed by McCaughey developments.

'We understand that a paper bond of €30,000 was taken out by McCaughey developments, and in 1998 they applied to have the estate taken in charge by the former Dundalk Urban Council. However this application was withdrawn, and no reason why was cited.'

The residents continued that at this stage it appeared that the estate was completed.

'Despite this, the roads and footpaths were disintegrating and residents were forced to use cement to repair pot holes on the estate for their safety and that of our children.'

The residents have since held a successful plebiscite, and a motion was brought before the Dundalk Municipal Committee meeting to have it taken in charge. The motion was passed.

'We cannot and will not stand by and let our estate disintegrate. We are proud of our estate and have been awarded a prize every year in the Tidy Towns competition. We are appealing to our public representatives to assist us in having our estate taken in charge under Section 180 of the planning and Development Act 2000.'

Speaking in the chamber, Cllr. Maria Doyle asked what progress was being made in getting the estate taken in charge.

Council officials told members that there are 'hundreds of thousands of euro in costs for road works. There will be some difficulty in getting those works done,' said Engineer Pat Finn.

He added that an assessment was being carried out by Irish Water, and the local authority were unable to progress any further until this was completed.

Cllr. Marianne Butler added that Willow Grove 'should have been taken in charge 20 or 30 years ago, and the roads would have been done by now.' She said 'I just do not understand that when the law was changed to give residents the ability to hold a plebiscite, that once it is done an estate is not taken in charge straight away.'

Pat Finn responded that the local authority bound by the process in which Irish Water must carry out their analysis of the estate.

The Argus