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Wednesday September 3rd 2014

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Council to Assume Control of Westbury Estates

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Clare County Council today announced that it is to take in charge extensive housing developments comprising 900 residential and other properties at Westbury in southeast Clare.

The move follows extensive negotiations with bondholders who held bonds on behalf of McInerney Homes Ltd and Chieftain Construction Ltd., both of whom have been in receivership and liquidation for some time.

The Council will take on responsibility for water services, including all pumping stations, with effect from 21 January next with the remaining services such as open spaces and roads being taken in charge on an interim basis pending completion of the statutory taking in charge process. The overall arrangement with the bondholder involves a payment of €715k which will be used to remedy defective infrastructure, particularly waste water treatment infrastructure.

The Council confirmed that a portion of unfinished development at Bruachan and Grianan is not subject to the taking in charge process as it relates to a separate receivership.

The Mayor of Clare welcomed the progress made in relation to the Westbury estates, which he said is part of ongoing Council efforts to address difficulties on a number of developments around the county brought about through the collapse of many companies in the building sector.

Councillor Pat Daly stated: “The Council has assigned considerable resources to deal with these very complex issues and progress made on Westbury is a demonstration of what can be achieved. This is a very significant residential area with some 10km of roadway and other services ultimately coming under the control of the Council. I hope the residents in this part of County Clare can now look forward to working with the local authority in the years ahead to bring about further improvements on the various housing developments.”

Area Engineer Hugh McGrath also welcomed the first full involvement in over 30 years of Clare County Council at Westbury. He noted that the Council has prepared a priority list of works to be undertaken from the monies now available.

“These works will be concentrated on remedying serious deficiencies in the water services infrastructure. The Council will need over a period of time to plan, schedule and fund other works on the development. These will however, be contingent on further funding becoming available from other sources in the future,” he explained.

Mr. McGrath continued: “The decision by the Council to take on responsibility for services at Westbury gives the platform from which future progress can be made. We will have a significant amount of work to do to effect the full transfer and this could take some years. However, the taking in charge of these extensive housing developments allows us to now consider the developments in the context of our various work programmes and to seek funding for necessary works as would apply to other developments under the control of the Council.”