THERE has been yet another setback with the affordable housing scheme at Cluain Airne, as a receiver has been appointed to developers Atlantic Developments Ltd.
In May, 2008 councillors voted to allow the development at the site, despite a lot of opposition from residents. While millions have been spent on the development of 22 houses over the last four years ,they are still not ready for habitation.
The saga surrounding the houses has caused a lot of anger among the residents, many of whom opposed the proposal, while some local representatives have questioned the spending on it.
In a statement to The Clare Champion, Shannon town manager Bernadette Kinsella confirmed work at the site has stopped.
“Work on the scheme halted and plant and machinery was removed from the site over the Easter holiday period. The council made immediate contact with the guarantor, Construction Guarantee. Since then, the council and its design team has been in active communication with the guarantor who commenced negotiations with the contractor to complete the contract works. On Friday last, the council was advised that a receiver has been appointed to Atlantic Developments Ltd. The receiver is now liasing with the guarantor and the council expects to receive a proposal for completion of the contract works this week.”
This is the second time a contract with a developer has failed to deliver, as an earlier contract with Paddy Burke Builders Ltd was terminated back in 2010.
A succession of dates was given for the completion of works over the past couple of years, but all have been overly optimistic.
Even those residents who opposed the development from the planning stage must be amazed with the turn of events since, with massive delays on the project, which was conceived at the height of a huge property boom, the collapse of which has seen the affordable housing scheme scrapped all over the country.
Sixteen months ago, €3,142,322 had already been spent on the project.
Local resident Nicole Murphy opposed the development and this week she said she was very disappointed with the news.
“We were hoping that it would be finished off and obviously it won’t be happening any time soon. We hoped the green areas that were disrupted through the build would be sorted and levelled out. It is disappointing.”
Independent town councillor, Cathy McCafferty, has been critical of the various hitches with the project and was very displeased with the latest hiccup.
“I’m disgusted because this is the second time now. I understand that things aren’t good and that builders can go but we asked the town manager was it a bonded company and she said, yes they were and they were a reputable company. It’s taxpayers’ money that’s being used and it’s being abused at this point in time. Who’s going to go in there now and finish it? That’s the question that I want answered and it’s one of the questions the residents in Cluain Airne want answered as well.”
Town and county councillor Gerry Flynn also said it was bad news. “I was informed by the council that they were only a few weeks away from completion, that there were a couple of items outstanding and there were a number of snagging issues. The bottom line is that it’s fierce disappointing. The saga of Glaise na Rinne seems to rumble on. A lot of people are saying it should never have happened. It produced an awful lot of anger in the community, has created a huge headache for the council and has cost the council a fortune.”
He said the project has been very expensive and was critical of the council. “I never saw another scheme so badly handled. We spent €5 million on the Southern Primary Road and created 100 acres of serviced sites and the council had a landbank available without the big expense of closing rights of way here and creating a new road.”