Swinford councillors approve €2 million Parkview development

The four elected members of the Swinford electoral area adopted a report on the €2 million upgrade works for the Parkview Estate in Charlestown at the committee’s first bi-monthly meeting of the new council this week. The Swinford area was the only area in the county to return the same outgoing councillors after last month’s Local Elections.

Paul Benson, senior executive officer with Mayo County Council, told the meeting that the proposal for this development was the construction of six mixed residential units, which includes four three bedroom units and two two bedroom units and the demolition of 11 existing houses. Also included in the plan was the provision of parking areas, play areas, refuse storage units, and landscaping works.

The council received €2 million in funding for the project last autumn and the council hopes to put the project out to tender in October of this year and have a contractor on site by January 2010. The project would take in the region of 18 months to complete once the contractor is appointed.

Mr Benson also told members that the council had received four submissions in relation to the project from residents of Parkview. The submission from Douglas Kelly solicitors on behalf of Ms Bridget O’Brien, 22 Parkview, was the most serious, as she is the owner occupier of her home and she objected to the project because it would call for the demolition of her home to which she has not consented. Mr Benson told the meeting that the council has been in negotiations with Ms O’Brien and is continuing to do so to find a solution. The overall works cannot be carried out without her consent or the council’s ownership of her property.

Two of the other objections by occupiers related to the style of the construction of the new houses have been addressed by the council. The fourth submission came from Michael and Kathleen Haran who objected to two of the new houses being constructed on lands which they occupy. Mr Benson told the meeting that while they do occupy the lands the land is in fact owned by the council and was the subject of a court order in 2005 which granted the council ownership. He went on to say that the council had agreed on a number of occasions to give the applicants extra time to vacate the lands at their request.

The report was proposed by Cllr Gerry Murray and seconded by Cllr Eugene Lavin.

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