A row has broken out over children playing at a gated Clane apartment complex.
The management company at the picturesque The Lawns, Abbeylands, has banned children from playing everywhere outside their own apartments.
However residents have responded that their children have a right to play.
On Wednesday, September 12 last, the company, Abbeylands Management Limited, wrote to residents with families saying that they had received complaints of children “screaming and roaring, fighting, crying and throwing tantrums, throwing footballs, stones, bricks and branches into the pond, taking off their shoes and getting into the pond, putting a bicycle into the pond (and) kicking footballs with vigour against the glass doors of the building”.
Residents responded on Friday evening last, September 14, by hoisting a large prominent sign in the complex’s courtyard saying: “Our children have a right to play”, and protested against the management company’s action.
A resident, Rafal Gajkowski, who has four children and who has been living there for six years, explained that he had taken down the sign after his landlord asked him to do so, on the condition that a meeting would be arranged with the management company to discuss the situation. He described his landlord as “a good man”.
At the time of writing, yesterday afternoon, Monday, September 17, the meeting had not yet been arranged.
“When we were protesting, a number of residents who don’t have families were shocked to learn this. They said they just never knew,” Mr Gajkowski explained.
With its large landscaped and manicured courtyard The Lawns has essentially been designed to look like an elegant stately home. It’s probably fair to say the designers had sedate professional residents in mind more than than boisterous children.
There is no shortage of open spaces but the management company says that “common areas, internal and external, provide an aesthetic dimension to the development. Children are not allowed to use them as a play area”.
The Leinster Leader understand there are five families with children in the development.
In the strongly worded letter to residents, the company states: “I get weekly complaints about this kind of anti-social behaviour from the child/children connected with your apartment. Both I and your landlord cannot tolerate this behaviour any longer and find it extremely disappointing to again be having to deal with complaints from residents and the management company.
“This situation cannot and will not be allowed to continue any longer.”
The letter also reiterates the rules of the complex, noting that “the Lesee shall not permit children to play in or obstruct the user of entrance halls, staircases and landings leading to the flats or any part of the reserved property.”
The letter concludes with the comment that “The Lawns is a respected property and a very aesthetically pleasing development. It is in everybody’s best interest that it remains that way”.
There are 18 rules governing behaviour in the complex, most of them designed to provide for a sedate, peaceful and aesthetically pleasing life for residents.
Animals, children, tobacco, laundry, congregating, strangers, alcohol, noise, commercial vehicles, satellite dishes, posters, bicycles, prams and rubbish bags are all either curtailed or entirely bnned.
The letter is signed by Richard Hutton, Property Manager.
The address of Abbeylands Management Limited is c/o 25A Main Street, Newbridge, which is the address of Falcondale Properties where Mr. Hutton works.
Mr. Hutton failed to respond to the Leinster Leader before we went to press.
- Conor McHugh