RESIDENTS of Spindlewood housing estate in Graiguecullen are angry and frustrated over never-ending delays in minor works.
A list of small jobs such as footpath repairs, wall cappings and reinstatement of manhole covers was expected to be finished in the summer of 2016.
Now it has emerged that the project has only just been priced by the contractor and there is no indication when work will begin on site. The estate cannot be taken in charge by Laois County Council until minor works are completed.
The Spindlewood estate received planning permission in 2002, yet householders are still waiting for it to be taken in charge 15 years later.
Cllr Pádraig Fleming said residents are very angry over delays which have been going on for years, as he asked for an update at the latest meeting of Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District.
In a written reply, planning officer Pat Delaney said a pricing document was prepared and sent to the contractors, with a closing date of Friday 24 November. The document includes 50 square metres of footpaths; reinstatement of existing manhole covers and frames; remedial works to ‘foul’ manholes; provision of a stop sign and road markings at the entrance to the estate; pre-cast wall cappings for existing boundary walls; removal of the existing palisade (steel) fencing adjacent to house number 101 and the reinstatement of green areas and open spaces.
Cllr Fleming stressed that residents were very angry over delays and he repeatedly had to reassure them that the work would be done. He said: “This answer we got today is the same answer I got 12 months ago and yet it is only now going for pricing. Why does it take a whole year to get a pricing document? I had motions in about this estate five years ago.”
He was supported by cllr Aidan Mullins, who said he was constantly ranting about delays in the taking in charge of estates and the whole process had to be sorted out. In May 2016, cllr Mullins was told that only minor works remained at Spindlewood and it was expected that they would be completed over the summer, with a view to having the estate taken in charge by the county council. When he asked for an update nearly a year later, in April 2017, he was told that the council hoped the works would be completed within about two months, with a view to advertising for taking in charge after that.
Director of services Gerry Murphy told the latest municipal district meeting that he had no idea why the minor works were repeatedly delayed. He said: “The important thing now is to get this work done as soon as possible.”