Dun Eala residents in Fermoy plan on making their plight an election issue
Angry and frustrated residents of the Dun Eala estate in Fermoy plan on making their plight an issue in the local elections.
They've been waiting too long now they say, for the outstanding snag list of works to be done on their estate to allow it to be taken-in-charge by Cork County Council.
A spokesperson for residents told The Avondhu this week that their patience has run out.
"This has been going on now since June 2009," she pointed out. "We gave them the benefit of the doubt," she said of the council who said late last year that they would have the developer do the works to allow the estate to be taken-in-charge.
The fact that legal proceedings were underway regarding a retaining wall at one of the houses, was cited as reason why the council couldn't progress the matter last year. That legal matter concluded and residents expected that the developer, Brompton Homes, would do the outstanding works and submit a formal application to Cork County Council requesting them to take the estate in charge.
Last November this newspaper was given to understand the matter would soon be sorted. The news was welcomed as an end to the impasse for residents. Minister of State Sean Sherlock was quoted at the time as saying: "I am confident that we are now in a more positive setting and that the residents can begin to have more confidence than they had heretofore.”
Any hopes they might have entertained however were dashed on Monday. A report submitted to the Fermoy Electoral Area meeting by Cork County Council's estates' engineer John Aherne, stated that the developer had confirmed that a planning application for the retention of the retaining wall and revised layout of the estate at The Crescent section was being prepared by their consultants and that the planning application must be approved before the taking-in-charge application can be submitted. Residents are adamant that the retention application is an entirely separate matter which should not hold up the taking-in-charge process.
They'd been led to believe, they say, that the council would treat them as separate matters, and that the developer was also preparing an application to have the estate taken in charge. They feel angry and let down by Monday's news that the council is prepared to wait until the developer first submits and then has the retention approved, and then awaits a taking-in-charge application and approves it, before proceeding.
"How long is all that going to take? We don't know when the planning retention application is going to go in. Any decision made could be appealed to An Bord Pleanala. If the council is going to wait for all of that to take place before doing anything, it could be years more," the spokesperson pointed out.
They are now calling on the county council to treat the retaining wall retention planning matter as a separate issue and to put a deadline for the submission of the planning application for it. They also want the council to invoke the developer's bond and do the outstanding works. That way they can as residents, apply themselves if the majority are in favour of having the council take over the estate. If those measures aren't taken, they say, they'll make it a very live election issue.
They contend that the outstanding works give rise to health and safety concerns, have disadvantaged them and that the matter has been dragging on for far too long. "We want closure. We are so sick of it," the spokesperson said.
Asked about it this week Minister of State Sean Sherlock told The Avondhu that he is still confident that the estate will be taken in charge, though he conceded: "It is difficult to understand why the potential retention application for the retentaining wall would be seen as pertinent to the taking-in-charge process."
He has organised to meet with residents later this week.
Cllr Noel McCarthy said he'd considered the estates manager's response after Monday's meeting and is disappointed for residents as he too had been led to believe substantial progress would be made shortly. He pledged to continue to campaign for a satisfactory outcome.
The Avondhu understands that Cllr Frank O'Flynn has also been lobbying on behalf of residents in recent months.
Thursday 23rd January 7:40pm