RESIDENTS of Cappahard in Ennis have banded together in a bid to be treated separately after being awarded a grant by Ennis Town Council of just over €1 per house for maintenance of green areas.
There are 11 estates within Cappahard and residents are urging the local authority to consider a number of priming grant applications for individual estates, rather than one grant for Cappahard as a whole, saying they have already spent thousands maintaining the area themselves.
An application for eight separate amenity/priming grants from the various areas in Cappahard was received by Ennis Town Council earlier this year. The local authority subsequently allocated one grant of €300 between the 264 houses of Cappahard, deeming it to be one estate.
However, following calls from the residents, Ennis town manager Ger Dollard has agreed to look at the matter again and the issue is set to come before November’s meeting of Ennis Town Council for further discussion.
According to a spokeswoman for the residents, there are a total of 264 houses divided between the 11 estates and residents have spent more than €3,000 maintaining the estate.
The developers of several estates within the townland of Cappahard went into liquidation in June of this year, with residents left to maintain the estate until it is taken over in the future by the local authority.
In June, residents met to discuss the situation and decided to collect €25 per household to help with the cost of grass cutting and weed control. They also applied for council grants for the various areas in the estate, with each of the areas coming together separately with their own resident representatives and making their own application.
They have contacted members of Ennis Town Council who raised the issue at their last meeting and have also received support from local Oireachtas members.
In the application for the priming grants, the residents insist, “We live in an area referred to as Cappahard but each estate within the development has its own identity and its own residents’ association and we should therefore be entitled to our own grants as per our applications. We represent a development which totals 264 houses, which is considerably larger than most of the other developments in the Ennis environs. It would seem unjust that so many estates with such a large number of houses would be granted only €300 in total for maintenance of their green and landscaped areas when other estates with as few as 10 houses are successfully applying for and being granted equal amounts for considerably smaller acreage.”
While residents acknowledge the tighter finances of local authorities, they have appealed for the council to re-consider the applications.
At the last meeting of Ennis Town Council, Councillor Johnny Flynn urged the council to reconsider the decision. Councillor Tommy Brennan added, “It’s a large estate and we should look at the grants for our larger estates all over the town. These are different estates within an estate and it should be looked at.”
Mr Dollard told the meeting the matter would be looked at again and would be put before the next meeting.
The priming grants allow the council to contribute financially to groups that carry out environmental and maintenance works in their housing estates.