Manager warns of housing estate's uncertain futures

The County Manager has described the difficulties faced by Westmeath County Council when considering the future of housing estates, telling councillors that there would not be a comprehensive message for the public about whether their estates will be taken in charge.County manager Danny McLoughlin told the July meeting of the Coole Area Committee that Local Authorities faced a myriad of scenarios when it came to the council taking an estate in charge:"Four possible situations that we could be faced with are; one, that a developer may be in a position to complete an estate when the situation improves; two, a developer is unable to complete because he is bankrupt or NAMA is involved; three, the development has not commenced and four, the estate is progressed by NAMA."Ultimately as a local authority we will forward plan and decide on the optimal course of action be that extending planning permission or not or working with NAMA," continued Mr. McLoughlin.The County Manager was speaking after a presentation to the elected members of the Coole area by Pat Keating, Senior Executive Officer, Legal and Enforcement Department, Westmeath County Council.The presentation was a progress report on housing developments in the Coole Electoral Area. It included details on forty estates in the area that have not been taken in charge by Westmeath County Council.Forty estates not taken in charge in Coole Area.There are forty estates in the Coole Electoral Area which have not been taken in charge by Westmeath County Council. Planning permission has expired in 26 of these estates and of these 2 are the subject of a warning letter, 4 are the subject of Enforcement Notices and 1 is currently the subject of Legal Proceedings," Mr Keating told the July meeting of the Coole Area committee.Six estates taken in charge in March and nine estates proposedThe report before the Coole area committee confirmed that last December, the members agreed to commence the taking in charge process for six estates in the area; Bothar Na hAbhainn, Killucan; Killucan Manor, Phase 1 (The Green); Cluain Mhor, Clonmellon; Gleann Alainn, Collinstown; Lir Park, Castlepollard and Derravarragh Court, Castlepollard. These estates were taken in charge at the March meeting of the council.Pat Keating outlined to the committee that the council are proposing to take a further nine estates in charge with the members approval.These estates are Abbeylands, Glebe Park and Beechview in Rathwire, Glebelands, Castle Heights and eight townhouses in Water Street, Castlepollard and Castleview, Lacora Glen and Clonyn in Delvin."In some of the estates, developers have given commitments that any outstanding issues will be resolved. When this is not done we will not be making a final recommendation," said Mr Keating.Two further estates are detailed as recommended for the taking in charge process in the report and they are Cois Abhainn and Woodville in Clonmellon.Legal proceeding commenced against Collinstown and Castlepollard estate developersWestmeath County Council has begun legal proceedings against two developers who have built estates in the Coole Electoral Area according to a report presented to the July meeting of the Coole Area Committee.Named in the report as the subject of legal proceedings are the developers of Cois Leine, Collinstown and Parc na Tierna, Castlepollard.The Council has began legal proceedings against the developer of Cois Leine, Collinstown because the estate, whose planning permission has expired, has unfinished roads, a problem telegraph pole at the entrance and an area of concern to the Council to the rear of the houses.The developer of Pairc na Tierna, Castlepollard is the subject of legal proceedings initiated by the Council regarding the estate's unfinished entrance, public lights and landscaping.Enforcement noticesissued to threeMr Keating's report to Coole Area Committee identified three estates where Enforcement Notices had been served on the developers; Killucan Manor, phase two, Rathwire, The Glebe in Killucan and Glebelands in Castlepollard.The report stated that Killucan Manor, phase 2, had 50 completed units and outstanding issues when planning permission expired included the wearing course, CCTV and landscaping. The Enforcement notice was issued in May 2010. The Enforcement notice issued in April 2009 to Killucan's The Glebe was in regard to the developers obligations in respect of bonds, trees, traffic calming, road signs and markings.The developer of Glebelands in Castlepollard, which is now being proposed for the process of taking in charge, was issued with an enforcement notice in June 2009 regarding an unfinished road, its green area and boundaries.Warning letters issued over Delvin and Rathwire estatesDetails of warning letters issued to the developers of Stoneyford Park in Delvin and Killucan Manor, phase three, in Rathwire, were contained in the report presented to the Coole Area Committee.In Stoneyford Park, Delvin, the developer has built 38 units. In March 2010, Westmeath County Council's Legal and Enforcement department issued a warning letter about outstanding issues including the developers obligations regarding the wearing course, CCTV and traffic calming.In Rathwire, the warning letter, served in June, to the developer of Killucan Manor phase three which has substantially 22 houses complete, was regarding roads, services and green areas.