PLANS to build eight new local authority houses in Portlaoise and Mountrath have hit a roadblock after contractors pulled out of the projects.
Construction of two new homes was due to start in July on the site of a derelict house at Hillview, Knockmay, Portlaoise, which had to be demolished after an arson attack four years ago. Now the long-awaited plans have been delayed again, as the contractor has withdrawn from the project.
The second affected site is at Shannon Street, Mountrath, where six houses for the elderly were due to begin construction this summer.
Both long-awaited housing projects are now facing further delays following the withdrawal of selected contractors.
The bad news was given to councillors by chief executive John Mulholland at the latest meeting of Laois Co Council.
Describing the news as disappointing, Mr Mulholland said the successful tenderer has withdrawn from the Mountrath scheme. He said the council is in the process of contacting subsequent tenderers to see if they are willing to enter into a contract.
In his management report, Mr Mulholland said: “The new successful tender will be assessed and qualified and a stage 4 application will have to be submitted to the department again. This will result in the Mountrath project being delayed.”
In relation to 54 Hillview in Knockmay, Portlaoise, Mr Mulholland said the council is awaiting a recommendation from its quantity surveyor on the second-placed tender, following the withdrawal of the tenderer who was awarded the contract. He said another submission will be made to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for reapproval of the budget involved, once the quantity surveyor’s recommendation has been received.
A derelict bungalow at the Hillview site had to be demolished after it was destroyed in an arson attack in July 2015. The house had been lying idle and attracted anti-social behaviour for more than a year when it went up in flames. The site was cleared to make way for two new local authority homes.