Issues of taking in charge housing estates raised in Leitrim County Council

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Cllr Finola Armstrong McGuire raised concerns at the recent Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District Meeting

Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire raised a number of question at at the December meeting of Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District in relation to the taking in charge process for housing estates.
She asked for clear guidelines outlining when estates have been taken in charge and a residents association is in place what funding streams have been of help from national government in the past three years?
She further asked that when estates are awaiting to be taken in charge do the Council have a check list for residents?
Cllr Armstrong-McGuire called for the Leitrim County Council website be updated to include this information?
In a detailed reply from Joseph Gilhooly, Director of Services for Economic Development, Planning, Environment and Transportation, he explained that whilst the State did provide limited funding to enable the taking in charge of a number of estates, both locally and nationally, there are no specific funding streams available in respect of the maintenance and upkeep of residential housing estates.
“Estate roads once in charge are considered local roads and the funding for the maintenance of local roads comes from the Council’s own resources which are supplemented by the State.
“There has been funding from the State to undertake works to install signage associated with the introduction of ‘slow zones’, ie 30km/h zones, in estates once in charge.
“The maintenance of water mains and sewers rests with Irish Water and funding is their responsibility. There is no dedicated funding available for the maintenance of open spaces and it is generally a matter for residents associations to fund such maintenance by way of annual subscriptions from all the residents in an estate.
“As there are no specific grants for residents associations, the Council is unable to provide any information either by way of an information check-list for residents associations or on our website.
“Whilst not directly related to the maintenance of estates, residents associations may apply, either directly or in conjunction with the Council, for funding under two funding streams – either the CLÁR or the Community Enhancement Programme. Details of these schemes are advertised annually once they are open for applications.
“The CLÁR programme (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) provides funding for small-scale infrastructural projects in rural areas. The funding works in conjunction with local funding and on the basis of locally identified priorities.
“The scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is delivered by local authorities in consultation with groups in local communities. Funding under this scheme is not available for the simple maintenance of open spaces.
“The Community Enhancement Programme was put in place for the first time in 2018. It provides capital funding to community groups across Ireland. This allows these groups to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas.
“The types of projects that can be funded include: minor renovation of community centres; development of community amenities; purchase of equipment and improvements to town parks and common areas. The Community Enhancement Programme replaced two programmes that operated in 2017. Funding under this scheme is also not available for the simple maintenance of open spaces.”
Martin Donnelly from the Planning Department said there was nothing stopping residents telling the Council about issues by writing, emailing or phoning the Planning Department. He said, however, they won't do any work until it is taken in charge.
Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire raised the issue at Shannon Lodge in Carrick-on-Shannon and the space behind the wall along the Dublin road.
Darragh O'Boyle, District Engineer, said that while that stretch of space is Leitrim County Council property they have no plan to go in and tidy it up. He said if the Shannon Lodge residents want to tidy it up and maintain it, the Council can assist them.
Cllr Armstrong-McGuire also raised an issue with regard to the lights at Prior's Point in Attirory. She said the residents felt the lighting there is not up to the required standard.
Mr Donnelly said the lights at that location are to the standard as was required by the developer and they comply with the planning permission. He said the Council cannot impose on the developer.