Limerick council to pursue Rathronan developer

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Sinn Fein councillor Seamus Browne has concerns about the progress over the Rathronan estate in Athea
COUNCIL bosses have said they will pursue a developer who left an estate incomplete, but is still working for the local authority, it has been claimed.

COUNCIL bosses have said they will pursue a developer who left an estate incomplete, but is still working for the local authority, it has been claimed.

At this month’s full council meeting, members raised concerns over the Rathronan estate in Athea, which was left half-finished after the developer fell into financial trouble.

But the developer in question has successfully retendered for other council contracts subsequently.

In terms of Rathronan, it was claimed at the meeting the developer had put in a bond of €17,500 for the seven houses that he built - but it was not enough to finish these works, and the local authority had to step in to provide an extra €56,250.

Now, after further concerns were aired at a Newcastle West area meeting this Wednesday, it is understood the council may initiate legal proceedings to recover some of the costs of bringing the estate up to standard.

This is according to Cllr Liam Galvin, who attended the meeting in the community hall at Dromcollogher.

At the meeting, councillors were given a list of what is still needed to done to bring the estate up to standard.

These included new boundary fencing, a storm sewerage system, public lighting and footpath repairs.

To fund this, around €56,000 will have to diverted from development levies, a sum Fine Gael councillor Galvin said could be better used elsewhere.

“The problem is the bond was not sufficient to complete these works. This is where the development contribution has been called on. The system is wrong to allow an active developer walk away,” said Cllr Galvin.

He added: “This local authority should empower the developer to finish off the Athea estate. This situation does not make very good reading. Can something be put in place to stop this kind of carry on?”

Sinn Fein councillor Seamus Browne said he also had “deep concerns” about how a developer is allowed to continue operating.

“What is going on there is scandalous. The council must put a stop to it.”

And Jerome Scanlan, who chairs the Newcastle West area committee, added: “It just does not make sense that we have re-employed someone that we have bailed out to the tune of €56,000. My sympathies go out to the people who have to live there.”

Economic director of service Dr Pat Daly agreed with councillors, saying: “I do not know the name of the developer, but I would have an issue with this. We would certainly have an issue with this. We need to be more aggressive when it comes to chasing bonds.”