Cork County Council moves to take over 92 housing estates

Hopes have been raised that a further 92 private estates could soon have their everyday maintenance taken over by Cork County Council.

The local authority has been pushing hard in recent years to get unfinished or unmaintained estates under its control, thus ensuring residents have proper water and sewerage supplies, plus adequate lighting and footpaths.

Since a major push was launched by the council since 2010 it has taken over the running of 421 former private estates.

A report sought from council officials by the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath, showed that the local authority had applied for special funding from the Government to “takeover” 92 estates.

The grant-aid was to be used to upgrade services to a standard that they could be in future maintained annually by the council.

John O’Neill, the council’s director of planning services, said that in July they received provisional approval for funding for 15 of the estates.

It is hoped that way more will be approved for takeover in the next few months.

Council officials did not list in their report which estates had already got the nod and which others were in the queue for approval. He said a significant amount of ‘estates personnel’ resources has been concentrated on dealing with the initiative and they were progressing a list of candidate estates that it is proposed to progress to ‘taking in charge’ as soon as possible.

However, he added this was subject to compliance with new protocols in place with Irish Water whose agreement in principle to take sanitary services in charge is required.

Mr McGrath, who has championed the cause in recent years of residents in private estates getting council control for their services, said he was pleased with the progress.

“We owe it to residents whose estates have been neglected,” he said.

Cllr Gerard Murphy said it was very important to keep the pressure on. He added it was encouraging financial institutions, which held insurance policies for developers who went bust during the recession, were now prepared to hand over money to finish off estates which did not have complete services.

North Cork-based Cllr Frank O’Flynn said he thought it was “a success story for the county council,” but Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley, who lives in Youghal, said she had a number of estates in her area which still had not been taken in charge by the council.

Council CEO Tim Lucey said the local authority “had made great progress over recent years”, but taking over estates had become more complicated due to the creation of Irish Water.

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