Cllr Michael Smith accused of childish behaviour by Cllr John Hogan
The proposal was brought before the members again this week by Mr Aidan Fennessy, Senior Housing Officer who informed the councillors that while the site had planning permission for 64 houses previously, the council proposal now was to build ten houses initially and to increase this to thirty with additional provision for recreational amenities.
However, the proposal, which he stressed was not a Masterplan for the site, was not received well by councillors who pointed out multiple issues with it including water and sewerage, lack of detail on the amenities and the lack of a provision of an alternative entrance to the site other than through an existing route.
It was pointed out to the members by Mr Matt Shortt, District Manager that no houses would be proposed or built by the council if the services infrastructure was not capable of facilitating them. And, he added that the only other alternative entrance was through a private estate and the council was not in a position at this time to make any proposals in this regard.
Cllr Smith accused the council of engaging in ‘secrecy’ and ‘rushing the prpoject through’ while Cllr JIm Ryan suggested that they were trying to build ‘a concrete jungle’.
However Cllr John Hogan took issue with the comments and said that the big problem the Chairman had with the proposal was the fact that Minister Alan Kelly had announced the funding for it.
“I’m not defending Alan Kelly - I’m of different politics even, but there was no secrecy involved here and nobody has been backed into a corner as our Chairman has suggested. We were all at the meetings when this was discussed. Alan Kelly, in fairness to him, has delivered 1.2million for this and we should be clapping him on the back, but the problem here is that Michael Smith dones’t want it. The council has listened to the concerns of the residents and has cut the number of houses from 64 to 30 and given half of the site over to amenities. I have faith in the officials to solve whatever problems might arise. We have so many people on our housing list and I would be proud to say that Tipperary is the first to get back building social housing again. It’s time to stop this childish, ridiculuous nonsense,”Cllr Hogan said.
Cllr Smith had accused Minister Kelly of pre-election showboating with the announcement of the funds for the houses and said that he was not going to sanaction any house building until he was certain that everything was in order and issues had been dealt with.
Meanwhile in a Notice of Motion from Cllr Smith calling for the council to engage with the voluntary organisation Respond with the view to purchasing 12 houses at Ros na Cronan Estate, Ashbury, Roscrea received support from members. However, it was stressed by officials that no proposal had been made by any voluntary housing organisation at the time.