THE LACK of proper signage and street lighting in a number of incomplete housing estates in Newcastle West is creating a problem for the emergency services, a local councillor believes.
Cllr Damien Riedy said that people living in so-called ‘ghost estates’ are afraid that their homes are so hard to find that they may face “serious problems” in case of an emergency.
Cllr Riedy’s claims come just over a month since a suspected arson attack gutted one vacant house and damaged another at the Daar River View estate.
“Signage is a problem, and it’s not going away. Unfortunately we had a bad precedent set there recently, with the fire. That was serious enough, but if someone had needed an ambulance, things could have been a lot worse,” Cllr Riedy said.
“There’s a bigger question here. We have to do something about it. There are people living in these estates who want to just go out, put up signs and be done with it.
“But they’re afraid to do that, because there’s health and safety and planning rules they have to worry about. Besides, a temporary sign is only there until one gust of wind carries it. That isn’t going to solve the issue.”
Cllr Riedy said that while the council are using their full legal resources to pursue developers responsible for ‘ghost estates’ across the county, there remains a deficit of responsibility.
“The council are lost. They can’t track down the developers, because the developers have gone bust. Then you’re dealing with banks and NAMA, and no one wants to take responsibility. It’s an impossible situation.”