The Gleann an Locha estate on Sir John’s Road is the only Carrick-on-Suir housing development to qualify for the Unfinished Housing Estates Property Tax Waiver scheme.
Residents of the estate’s occupied houses will not be required to pay the controversial tax. There is a large derelict building site at the rear of their properties featuring a row of 15 completed but vacant and vandalised houses and the abandoned foundations of other houses.
Residents have also had to deal with the illegal dumping of rubbish on this site and with uncompleted road and public lighting works in front of their houses.
Gleann an Locha, built by the former Atlantic Developments firm, was announced as the only Carrick estate to qualify for the waiver at the Town Council’s monthly meeting.
At the meeting, Town Clerk Michael O’Brien agreed to write, on behalf of the elected councillors, to Environment Minister Phil Hogan requesting him to exempt residents of homes in Ballylynch from the Property Tax this year if the regeneration of the Mountain View area isn’t completed as scheduled by July.
Independent Cllr Richie O’Neill, a resident of Mountain View, proposed the letter be sent to the Minister and FF Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan seconded the proposal.
“We are still in Limbo up there,” argued Cllr O’Neill. “There are houses that aren’t finished and people with unfinished porches and we don’t know when they will be finished. We shouldn’t be liable for this tax. I won’t pay it,” he declared.
Michael O’Brien responded that work was progressing on completing the regeneration scheme. The Council was very happy with the quality of the building work and it was due to be finished by July.
But Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan said there was a “certain merit” to what Cllr O’Neill was calling for.
She said Ballylynch residents shouldn’t have to pay the tax if infrastructure like roads, footpaths and public lighting in their estate were unfinished. She suggested the Council make a plea to exempt the estate until the building works were fully completed and pointed to the considerable delay already in carrying out the regeneration scheme, which should have been finished 12 months ago.
Work on the project was stopped for several months last year after the original building contractor, Atlantic Developments, went into receivership.
Mr O’Brien said there was a “huge amount of irony” in the case the councillors were making. Of all the estates in Carrick-on-Suir, Ballylynch was the one where money was being invested – in excess of E3m.
However, if the councillors instructed him to write a letter on their behalf, he would do so.
After the letter was proposed and seconded, Town Manager Pat Slattery pointed out the Property Tax will only be applied for the second half of this year when building works in Ballylynch are due to be finished. But he was told the request should still be made in case building works on the estate continued beyond July.