File photo: Kildare County Council HQ
A delay in a revised regeneration plan for a Rathangan housing estate has been deemed ‘unacceptable’ by a local councillor.
Sinn Féin’s Mark Lynch tabled a motion at September’s Kildare- Newbridge Municipal District meeting.
He said the revised plan for St. Parick’s Park was approved by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government on January 20, 2017.
He added that the delay in construction and renovation is ‘unacceptable’ and “the fact that homes are boarded up for over ten years by the council is improper use of public buildings and officials need to be held responsible for same”.
Cllr Lynch said it is an “ongoing saga” and that there is something “majorly wrong”. He said he has emails going back over three years.
Kildare County Council said they are looking at options to reduce the costs of the current scheme. A spokesperson for the Council said it is “not simply a clean sheet”.
Cllr Lynch said the costs are “phenomenal” and the council should be looking for more value for money.
“The Department are blaming ourselves, and we’re blaming the Department. Someone is at fault in terms of the delay,” said Cllr Lynch.
A report issued by Kildare County Council said;
“The St. Patrick’s Park Regeneration and Remedial Works scheme is divided into three phases. Phase 1 involves the refurbishment of 23 social housing units and minor works to 11 private units.
“The first four social housing units (two vacant and two occupied) and two private units are complete. The vacant units are being used to decant tenants of occupied units to allow refurbishment of these units. A contract for the refurbishment of the remaining 19 social housing and minor works to nine private units has been signed and is due to commence on 10 September 2018.
“A number of improvement works were carried out over recent years which has improved the overall appearance of St. Patrick’s Park from the appearance of the estate that prompted the inclusion of St. Patrick’s Park in a submission under the Remedial Works Programme in late 2008.
“This included the demolition of five vacant and vandalised units and the creation of additional green space, the construction of fencing around the southern and western boundaries of the estate and a number of clean-ups around parts of the estate.
“Phases 2 & 3 involve the demolition of 21 units, the refurbishment of 19 units and the construction of 18 new units. The most significant element of demolition works involves removing 12 existing housing units in the centre of the estate to create a new green open space appropriate to an estate the size and layout of St. Patricks Park.
“This part of the projects has been developed to Part 8 stage and a Stage 3 application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG). The DHPLG have sought significant reduction in the overall project costs to those submitted by Kildare County Council with the Stage 3 application.
“This will involve redesign of the draft Part 8 in order to bring the project cost in line with the budget tabled by the DHPLG.
“ The redesign process is underway. Once reduced project costs are identified a revised submission will be sent to the DHPLG seeking approval to proceed to Part 8.”