Residents of Louth housing estate call public meeting to air grievances
A group of Co Louth residents who have grown impatient waiting for their estate to be finished are holding a public meeting on June 1 to express their concerns.
Cnoc na Mara is an estate of 143 houses off the Golf Links Road in the popular village of Blackrock, with stunning views across Dundalk Bay to the Cooley Mountains.
Residents say that while they love living in the neighbourhood and the local community they are concerned that they are living in an ‘unfinished estate’ with a snag list of items to be attended by developer Shannon Home (Drogheda) Ltd.
Michael Lister and Gerry Bingham, who both moved into Cnoc na Mara just over six years ago, are among a group of residents in the estate who have set up a residents’ committee.
They highlight a number of issues in the estate which they say need to be addressed, including unfinished road surfaces, kerbs, footpaths, manhole covers, drainage, street lighting and signs.
Michael claims that the width of the roads is a particular concern as they need to be widened to provide easy access for ambulances, fire trucks and bin lorries.
Gerry’s niece, Maria Bingham lives in the neighbouring Blackrock Cove estate, which was also built by Shannon Homes (Drogheda) Ltd at the start of the 21st century.
"There are 72 houses in Blackrock Cove. It was started in 2000 and there are still works to be finished,” she says.
She says that estate has remained unfinished and hasn’t been taken in charge by Louth County Council as there is no bond available. The residents of Cnoc na Mara were alarmed when, earlier this year, the developer discontinued the contract with Haggardstown Garden Centre to cut the grass in the public areas, although this has since been renewed, although they don’t know for how long.
"The contractor does come back from time to time but there are lots of snags that needed to be addressed,” says Michael.
"The potholes were so bad that cars were being damaged and eventually someone came round and did a job to patch them up.”
He also said that there were no fire hydrants anywhere in the estate until earlier this year and that those that were installed still have to be painted yellow.
“There is a bond sitting with the Council but we just want to know how long will it take to get the work done,” he says.
"We feel we have been left in limbo.” says Gerry
"Everyone loves living here, we love the area, we love the community, ” says Maria, adding that they just want the outstanding works finished.
In recent correspondence to the residents, they were told by the developer that the estate is in the process of being handed over to the Council "albeit the final road finishes have to be completed which will happen in the coming few weeks”.
Louth County Council has issued a statement saying they have issued a list of works to be completed by Shannon Homes (Drogheda) to enable the housing developments to be taken in charge.
"The council are liaising with Shannon Homes (Drogheda) on a weekly basis to ensure these works are completed to the appropriate ‘taking in charge’ standard.
The local authority says that developer has a team on site currently working through the list of works provided.
" The company is prioritising their works which will facilitate laying the final wearing course on the road network.”
“There is a bond in place and, if required, this will cover any works needed to bring the development up to taking in charge standard.”
According to the quarterly update on estates that have yet to be taken in charge which was before the April meeting of the Dundalk Municipal District, the work on putting in the wearing course on the roads in Cnoc na Mara was due to start in April.
The report also stated in relation to Blackrock Cove that the local authority had received an email from the developer in March 2022 stating that they were still working on the CCTV surveys and preparing the as-built drawings of the Cnoc na Mara drainage and hope to have them in ASAP. Their intention was to carry out the agreed remedial works in Blackrock Cove at the same time.
The report also indicated that there was no bond available for Blackrock Cove although the one for Cnoc na Mara is still in place.
The two estates are among 56 in the Dundalk Municipal Area that have yet to be taken in charge by Louth County Council.
Attempts by The Argus to contact Shannon Homes (Drogheda) Ltd proved unsuccessful.
The Cnoc Na Mara residents committee have organised a public meeting to take place on June 1 at 7.30pm in Blackrock Community Centre.