Vigilance needed over new estates
Cllr MALCOLM BYRNE called for tight controls to be put in place for new housing developments to ensure that the local authority isn't left with a bill to repair unfinished esates in the county in years to come.
Cllr Byrne said up to 1,000 houses could be built in the Gorey area alone in the coming three years, adding that inspections of the estates are required.
He said he was not convinced that the council housing inspection department was adequately resourced.
Director of Services for Planning & Economic Development Tony Larkin said resources are lacking, but stressed that the matter will be prioritised.
Cllr Ger Carthy said millions have been spent renovating unfinished estates in the county.
'We have put in fancy lights, tarmac and ramps,' Cllr Carthy said, adding that some of the developers who built the estates and left them unfinished are now applying for planning permission to build new estates.
He called for a breakdown of what the council spent on unfinished estates since 2008 and asked if levies will be applied to developers whose estates were worked on.
Mr Larkin said around €500,000 has been spent by the council.
'The bulk of the money that we have spent has been from bonds. We got a significant amont of grant assistance and where none of that applied we used council funding.'
He said it is very unlikely that a company which owned an unfinished estate would apply to build another estate as new limited companies are created.
'If you have a good test case I will take it on but it costs €200,000 just to ask a questioin in the High Court and then you have to try to recover costs and losses.'
Cllr Carthy said the council must pursue developers for the €500,000 it has spent on these estates.
Mr Larkin said the council has a policy of pursuing money where possible.