Cllr Denis Leahy
A Senior Planning Officer with Tipperary Co. Council has said their aim is to take in charge all the remaining estates that have applied to be taken over by the Council, by the end of this decade.
Senior Planner Mr Brian Beck gave a Planning Directorate Presentation at the February meeting of Cashel Tipperary Municipal District.
Co. Tipperary has about 150 housing estates that planners are still trying to “work through”. Mr Beck said their job is to target those estates with a view to getting them “over the line”. An estate can be taken in charge, if 50% of owners in that estate make an official application. The Co. Council then takes over the maintenance of roads, footpaths, lighting, sewerage, and other infrastructure, to the benefit of householders.
Some estates that have not been taken in charge, have fallen into disrepair. At the current rate, all the remaining estates that are on the list, will be taken in charge by 2020. “We progressed about 48 estates last year in 2017,” added Mr Beck. This leaves about 10 to 20 estates for 2019.
However, the applications have to come from homeowners themselves. Council officials cannot enter a private estate demanding it be taken in charge, or they would be effectively “trespassing.” There is no time limit on an application, and even an estate built over 30 years ago can be taken in charge.
The new aim is for the Council to work with developers so infrastructure is up to a certain standard before being handed over to the Council.
Cllr Denis Leahy said he was surprised they were looking for more estates to be taken in charge, when an estate in Rossmore village is still waiting “five or six years” for proper lighting, along with others in An Duiche, and Monard. There was an “enormous effort” being put into Rossmore, but other estates are “stuck in a hole” with water issues, said Mr Beck. “My responsibility is to anticipate where we will be in 2 or 3 years time. We don’t want to be back in 10 or 15 years time, where estates have deteriorated, and the lights are turned off. We want to take them in charge now.”
Cllr Leahy asked if they are looking at the “end of private estates.” The point is “to have a mechanism” for new estates to be taken over: ultimately it’s about saving the taxpayer “legacy costs,” responded Mr Beck.
Cllr John Crosse said many estates in Tipperary are “in no man’s land.” While it was important to adopt this new approach, he still had doubts about the approach being taken to unfinished estates.