€2.6m in bonds paid over unfinished estates

Developers have paid Roscommon County Council around €2.6 million in bonds because estates were unfinished, the local authority has said.

  Martin Lydon, the acting director of services for planning and enterprise, gave councillors a detailed presentation on unfinished housing developments during Monday’s monthly meeting of the council.

  He said that there were 211 housing estates in the county that had not been taken in charge, comprised of estates at various levels of completion.

  There is a disparity between what the council and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government regard as unfinished.

  Mr Lydon said: “97 are on our radar as being unfinished, as against 40 published by the Department.”

  According to the Department, the number of such estates in Co. Roscommon has reduced in recent years, from 85 in 2013, 53 in 2014 to 40 last year.

  Mr Lydon said that the council was working with developers, receivers and bondholders in order to progress ‘site resolution plans’ on unfinished estates.

  “At the present time, there are site resolution works currently ongoing in six developments in the county,” he said.

  Bonds to the value of around €2.6 million had been paid over to the council in respects of 20 estates, €600,000 of which had been spent, he said.

  “Works have been carried out in respect of 11 developments funded by bond money which has been paid over to the council,” he said.

  The 40 estates that the Department regard as unfinished as located throughout the county, including five in Ballaghaderreen, six in Boyle, four in Strokestown and three in Roscommon town.

  Fianna Fáil councillor Rachel Doherty said: “211 is really the figure, not this stupid figure of 40 that has come down from the Department, which actually makes no sense whatsoever.”

  She said that it must be “extremely frustrating” for council staff to deal with the Department, which was “surrounded by bureaucracy and paperwork”.

  Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins said that it was “somewhat positive” that the number of estates the Department regarded as unfinished had reduced from 53 in 2014 to 40 last year.