Anger as standstill continues at North Wexford housing development – ‘Nothing is happening’

Cllr Joe Sullivan at the Tobair Mhuire housing estate in Gorey on Saturday.

Pádraig ByrneWexford People

Prone to passionate outbursts on the topic of housing, there was a sense that some of the fight had been knocked out of Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Sullivan at the latest monthly meeting of Wexford County Council.

Somewhat dejectedly, the Gorey councillor stressed once more that it was unconscionable that a stand-off between the local authority and a housing developer had resulted in a complete shut-down of a 39-unit development at Tobair Mhuire in the town last Christmas, 12 of which are near completion.

Constantly fielding calls from people desperately seeking housing, the lack of action on this site and others is a real source of frustration for Cllr Sullivan.

"Tobair Mhuire is still at a standstill. Nothing is happening,” he said, before repeating for emphasis: “Nothing is happening. Nothing is happening! I can’t understand how this situation has gone on so long. If we want to get people into houses, we need to be proactive.”

It wasn’t the only source of frustration either.

"(The development) at Wexford Street is an ongoing mystery of housing,” he said. “It’ll nearly become a tourist attraction if we keep it idle any longer.”

Director of Housing Carolyne Godkin understood Cllr Sullivan’s anger in relation to Tobair Mhuire.

"I appreciate the councillor’s frustration,” she said. “The site has been closed since December 22 and the developer, unfortunately, is not corresponding with us. Informally, some discussions have taken place, but we need formal discussions to get things back on track. We will work with the developer, but we need to go through a formal process. If they don’t formally engage with us, we can’t do anything.”

Meanwhile, Director of Services Sinead Casey had some positive news for Cllr Sullivan on Wexford Street at least.

"The department sent approval for us to proceed to construction last Friday,” she said. “I’m confident that we’ll have a contractor on site in June.”