Families in estate with sewerage problems are left in limbo

Statutory bodies are turning their backs on complaints from residents in a housing estate with major sewerage problems.

Families in estate with sewerage problems are left in limbo

Families in Parkland, which overlooks Youghal, have claimed they were left in limbo by both Irish Water and Cork County Council.

Constructed during the boom years, the sprawling hillside estate spreads across three sections of the east Cork town.

Many of the properties in the privately-developed estate, however, remain empty while some are derelict and have been logged by the local authority for demolition.

Frustrated residents say they have endured persistent serious problems, and are having to cope with the issues themselves as neither Irish Water nor Cork County Council have assumed any responsibility for resolving the issues.

Furthermore, large parts of the estate have no public lighting since residents started to move in three years ago.

Homeowners in the estate, are for the most part, young families.

Honorata Jozefowska, a married mother of two teenage sons, said three of the toilets in her house are unusable since early December.

She says Cork County Council said it cannot help because it is a private property.

She said Irish Water, last month, promised to attend to the problem but, despite her having registered for water charges, the company had not visited or contacted her.

Her neighbour, Edward Hennessy, a married fathe of three young children, said there have been sewerage blockages in their part of the estate for over 18 months.

“Even when we clear the pipes with rods, the problems return. Sometimes the smell is horrendous,” he said.

A council tenant, he has contacted the local authority but County Hall directed him to Irish Water, who logged his complaint 10 days ago but have not since responded.

Meanwhile, Ms Jozefowska’s landlord Patrick Buttimer, says the estate’s Northern Ireland-based developers are in liquidation.

“Cork County Council has not taken the estate in charge due to an unfinished snagging list. I believe the work primarily involves demolishing some properties elsewhere in the estate.

“I’ve been told that a financial institution in the North seems to have issues in releasing the bond money. But it’s essentially needless bureaucracy causing families a lot of distress. It’s a disgrace in this day and age.”

Mr Buttimer says promises given to him by both Irish Water and Cork County Council did not materialise.

Cllr Aaron O’Sullivan, a locally-based county councillor, said the council’s environment department told him last week they would investigate the complaints.

Irish Water, however, he said, had insisted the problems had nothing to do with them and was an issue for the developers.

“It’s farcical,” Mr O’Sullivan added.

A Cork County Council spokesman said “a full assessment of sewers is a standard requirement for developments before they are taken in charge,” while Irish Water did not respond to inquiries made several times.

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