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Residents' anger as work starts on housing development

Saturday, 3rd October, 2020 8:30am
Residents' anger as work starts on housing development

Clearance work has begun at Cormack Drive.

Residents' anger as work starts on housing development

Clearance work has begun at Cormack Drive.

Local residents have expressed anger over this week's commencement of work on a controversial housing development in Nenagh.

A contractor engaged by Tipperary Co Council to build 12 houses in the Cormack Drive estate began site clearance works on Monday. Residents had been maintaining a protest in the estate but said they withdrew on the understanding the plan to build the houses had been referred to the High Court.

Chairman of the Cormack Drive Residents Association Michael Ryan said the arrival of workers and machines early on Monday morning was greeted with surprise and anger.

“The amount of upset it caused was unreal,” he said. “To see diggers up there digging up perfectly good ground that kids were playing on... It's a disgrace.

“They're ploughing ahead with it - it's their way or the highway. How you can do that in a democracy is a disgrace. If it happened in another country we'd be calling for some human rights court to get involved in it.”

Andrew Fahy of the St Conlon's Road Residents Association was also dismayed by Monday's action, which he said breached an agreement made between residents and the old Nenagh Urban District Council that no more council houses would be built in the estate.

“It is sad to see Tipperary Co Council behaving in such an intimidating, bullying manner,” Mr Fahy said. “The legality of this development is in serious doubt and longstanding agreements with local residents associations are completely broken at this stage, disgracefully.



“We hope that the county council see sense before it is too late and that they reverse this very wrong decision and deep mistreatment of the residents of Cormack Drive, St Conlon's Road, Gortlandroe, and Nenagh and district as a whole.”

Mr Ryan said local residents are fighting a legal case against the development on grounds that the Part 8 planning process was flawed over lack of notification to the parties concerned and omission of photographs of traffic issues in the estate. He said questions must be asked over the costs that will be incurred by both sides in the case.

“Part 8 has to be one of the most draconian rules ever brought into the country,” Mr Ryan said. “It's the council looking for planning permission from itself. It's you, the taxpayer, paying for that planning permission and if there's something wrong with it, and the council has to go to court over it, the taxpayer has to pay for that as well.

“If the Cormack Drive/St Conlon's Road residents win our case, what happens then? They'll have to stop, and will they have to restore that ground as well? More money.” He also asked whether a private developer would be permitted to build 12 houses in Nenagh given questions raised over capacity of the town's wastewater treatment plant. In any event, the Cormack Drive resident said there are lessons to be learned from this housing situation for people living elsewhere in Nenagh, and indeed throughout the country.



“When councillors go to vote on these Part 8s, they shouldn't just follow the whip and do whatever the whip tells them to do,” he said. “These are emotive issues; they're dealing with people's lives and the least they should do is ensure that the council has done everything properly. They have a duty to people to know what they are voting on and why they're voting on it.

“It's in the public interest that if it's done wrong here then it should be righted in the future. People do need to take notice of what's happening here.”

Tipperary Co Council was invited to comment on the Cormack Drive situation.

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