Cahereen Heights included in Minister Coveney’s €9m Residential Estates Fund

Cahereen Heights Collapse 22-11-2014
Cllr. Bobby O’Connell (left) and Charlie Farrelly on the day of the underground tank collapse on November 22-2014. Both men have welcomed the announcement by Minister Coveney today. ©Photograph: John Reidy

 Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D., has announced the allocation of €9 million to assist local authorities in taking in charge 356 developments.

The minister’s announcement will account for the concerns over 17,000 households throughout the country.

In addition to the €9 m allocation, almost €4.5m of funding will be sourced by local authorities through bonds and other sources.

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell has welcomed the inclusion of the Coolfada, boom-time built Cahereen Heights estate in the minister’s announcement. A total of almost €15,000 has been allocated under the initiative for work on the estate.

Right Direction

Estate resident and committee chairman, Charlie Farrelly also welcomed Minister Coveney’s announcement as one ‘definitely going in the right direction.’

“It’s great news for us that this money is to be spent on local improvements and it’s nice to see that the long-term maintenance of the estate is to be taken over by Kerry County Council,” said Mr. Farrelly.

Cahereen Heights became the most famous private estate in Ireland on a November morning in 2014 when the cover of a storm-water attenuation tank collapsed under a mound of rain-sodden back-fill.

Here's to the future: Residents, Eamonn Moriarty and his little boy, Billy admiring the new entrance signage at Cahereen Heights as the renewal works near completion on Thursday evening. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Here’s to the future: Residents, Eamonn Moriarty and his little boy, Billy admiring the new entrance signage at Cahereen Heights. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Early Morning Appearance

News reports went well over the top at the time by labelling the early morning appearance of the large hole in the lawn of the estate as a sink-hole.

In announcing the allocation, Minister Coveney said that the dramatic boom and bust that our residential construction sector experienced over the last 15 – 20 years has left considerable issues for households in developments that would previously have been taken in charge in the normal way.

“There has been significant progress in tackling these most acute cases, providing for the completion of the majority of unfinished developments.

“Through the funding I am providing to local authorities we can now map a path towards all residential developments being taken in charge by local authorities. Residents can be confident that the housing developments they live in will be properly finished out and maintained into the future.

Action Plan for Housing

“This work of taking in charge should also be seen in the context of the Government’s forthcoming Action Plan for Housing and the funding provided through local authorities to support the provision of new infrastructure to support the development of high quality homes for all.”

 The funding is being provided under the Minister’s new National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) to accelerate current applications within the taking in charge process relating to around 1,500 developments.

The initiative has been guided by the results of a survey of housing developments not taken in charge that was carried out by the department in December 2015. The survey is available on the department’s website.

This survey showed that at that point in time there were 5,655 completed housing developments nationally which were not taken in charge by local authorities, 1,500 of which had applications for TIC submitted to the relevant local authority.