Athy Council Office
Social housing association Respond are still deliberating on whether or not it will be financially viable to build 24 housing units at Gallow Hill in Athy.
Respond were to discuss the financial viability of the project and decide it was still viable on September 26 however a spokesperson confirmed today that all matters are still being deliberated.
The units become controversial as residents said they were not informed by the developer about plans to build the extra social housing units on their estate.
Meanwhile the issue was hotly debated at this month’s area meeting when Cllr Mark Wall said the units were ‘foisted upon’ the Gallow Hill residents.
A number of Gallow Hill residents attended the meeting.
Cllr and Chair Ivan Keatley tabled a motion that the council give a full account of their involvement to date in the proposal by Respond to build 24 social houses in Gallow Hill, Athy and give examples of where similar developments have taken place in the county.
Cllr Keatley said that it was a disgrace that there was no public consultation with the current residents who have concerns that the number of social housing in the estate will increase by 50 per cent with the new units. He added that the residents felt they were left in the dark on the issue and called for a meeting with Respond to air their grievances. “All the residents are looking for is to have their say and thrash out their concerns,” he said.
In response KCC’s Anette Aspell explained that in the case of Gallow Hill, Respond Housing Association informed the council of their interest in purchasing units in an unfinished housing development. The council confirmed to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government that we were supportive of the purchase of 24 units. Having regard to the fact that the council owns 5 houses within the existing development. Respond’s proposal to purchase the units was then approved by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. that the council does not have any contractual relationship with the developer and is not involved in any way in agreeing the terms of the purchase. Members were also told that there is no public consultation process under this programme which is different to other social housing programmes run recently in Athy such as Flinter’s Field, where residents were consulted.
Respond have since met with the residents and listened to their concerns. A final decision will be made next week the Leader understands.