IN the first sign of a crackdown on unfinished work on new housing estates, Mayo County Council has seized the cash bond of a developer who built a housing estate in Balla.
The Council’s Enforcement Section took the step after it could not make contact with the developer in question to discuss the taking over of the estate.
A recent meeting of the Castlebar Electoral Area Committee heard from Ms Ann Sweeney, Senior Executive Engineer, that the estate, Ashling Manor, was set to be taken over by the Council and the process to have three other estates in the village of Balla taken over had also started. The three other estates in question were Churchview, Oakmill and Churchfield.
Ms Sweeney said some information had been received from the developers of Churchview and it was hoped to process that application while the application to have Oakmill taken in charge was currently incomplete and enforcement action was being considered. No decision would be taken on the Churchfield estate until the area office tested the sewerage system’s capabilities.
Cllr Cyril Bourke welcomed the developments announced by Ms Sweeney as he said he had been campaigning vigorously to have these estates taken over.
“There is a very large number of young families living in Ashling Manor and I am delighted that the Council have finally decided to take action as the green areas of the estates are in a very bad way. It’s not good enough for a developer to walk away from an unfinished estate and the Council were left with no choice but to seize the bond,“ stated Cllr Bourke.
Cllr Al McDonnell said he felt the process in relation to seizing the bond had taken ‘far too long’ and the Council’s Enforcement Section should be more proactive in seizing bonds and penalising developers who do not properly comply with conditions of their planning permission.
“For me, the process takes far too long and it is easy to see that there were safety problems with play areas in some of the estates. This is a serious issue for the families of young children. The Council have power over developers and they should go after them at every opportunity,” stated Cllr McDonnell.