A group of Kill residents staged a protest outside the Kildare County Council offices in Naas yesterday morning (May 27).
They want their Earls Court estate to be taken in charge by the local authority and they have also criticised the developer, McCourt Investments, for retaining equipment and materials on the site.
About 20 members of the Earls Court Residents Association took their protest to Aras Chill Dara, carrying placards criticising the condition of the estate and lobbying councillors as they arrived for a council meeting.
Two phases of residential development in Earls Court have been completed, creating a total of 159 houses.
According to the residents, there is planning permission for a third phase which has not yet commenced and which now expires in 2017.
“We are living there for sixteen years and the second phase has been finished since 2009. We are trying to get it taken in charge. There has been no building work here since 2009. We are concerned because the builder has put up fences which are unsightly and take from the appearance of the area,” said ECRA representative Jonathan Martin.
Mr. Martin claimed that the council has been unwilling to meet them to discuss the issue since a meeting with an official about a year ago.
They are concerned, however, that the council may agree to release part of a bond lodged by the developer some years ago, without the work being completed.
The residents are fearful that the compounds housing machinery and building materials may be left there until the entire development is completed. “There is a huge compound there and we question the need for it because there’s been no building work since 2009. There are portaloos here as well as rubbish and this looks bad,” added Mr. Martin.
“Our issue is that the council won’t meet us. We feel it’s like living in a dump.”
Michael McHugh of McCourt Investments said he had “nothing at all to say” and referred the Leader to “the council files.”
Cllr. Wilie Callaghan wants a meeting between the residents and the council’s planning section.
“This would provide a solution rather than for the resident to write down their complaints. The residents are right to complain when the developer has not even moved the compound to another location,” added Cllr. Callaghan.
KCC told the Leader the council was not yet in a position to respond to queries on the issue.