County Limerick home owner refusing to pay household charge in protest over condition of estate

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A DROMCOLLOGHER home owner has said that she is refusing to pay the €100 household charge because of the “awful” condition of the incomplete housing estate she lives in.

A DROMCOLLOGHER home owner has said that she is refusing to pay the €100 household charge because of the “awful” condition of the incomplete housing estate she lives in.

The 25 house Glen Coill development at Carraward, Dromcollogher has been the subject of a protracted prosecution by Limerick County Council, which resulted in the two developers who built the estate being fined in 2010 for leaving it in an “absolutely disgraceful” condition.

However since then a number of basic site works such as road surfacing, street lights and green areas remain largely unfinished, to the fury of residents.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said that she has now decided not to pay the household charge in protest.

“Living in an estate with no infrastructure for three and a half years is not pleasant. There are unfinished footpaths, dangerous potholes – my car failed the NCT because I drove into one. It is like an obstacle course trying to avoid them.

“There is no play area for the children. The light outside my house only recently started working. I rang Limerick County Council, who informed me they are working on the estate at the moment, and that I cannot apply for a [household charge] waiver because the estate is not on the list of unfinished estates this year, but may be next year.”

The resident paid €165,000 for her three-bedroom house in 2005, and moved into the estate in 2008.

Glen Coill was not listed as an incomplete estate in the 2011 National Housing Development survey, and therefore residents are not entitled to claim an exemption for the household charge.

The estate was built as a joint venture by developers Tim Lynch, of Kilmurray, Feenagh and Tony Doyle, of Coolanoran, Newcastle West.

In July 2010, Mr Doyle was fined €1,900 and ordered to pay costs of €3,160 for a breach of planning relating to unfinished site works at the estate. Mr Lynch was earlier fined €900 and had to pay costs of €2,209 for the same offence.

Judge Mary O’Halloran described the condition that the estate had been left in by the developers as “absolutely disgraceful”.

Limerick County Council has since called in a cash bond of €63,500 which was placed on the development in order to complete as much of the outstanding work as possible.

A spokesperson for the council planning department told the Limerick Leader this week that if the bond does not cover the final cost of the work, the difference may have to be made up from the council’s own funds.