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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 22 September, 2014

“We’re in limbo”: Kilcock residents face sixth night without street lights

Negotiations are said to be ongoing between Kildare County Council and ESB Networks on the issue.

The view from one of the houses in the estate.
The view from one of the houses in the estate.
Image: Pat McGarry

RESIDENTS ARE WAITING in an unfinished Kildare housing estate to see if the street lights will be turned back on, almost six days after being switched off.

The estate in question is Chambers Park in Kilcock, where Pat McGarry, a local resident who is chair of the residents committee, told TheJournal.ie that so far there has been “no change” in the situation, with the street lights remaining off last night.

He described the residents as being “in limbo”.

He said that Kildare County Council have been working to resolve the issue but said they “haven’t been given any confirmation of what’s going on”.

McGarry said that local gardaí have stepped up their patrols in the estate over the past six days.

Next steps

Local councillor Pádraig McEvoy said that he understands the county council issued an order to their energy supplier, Energia about the estate. This means that a change of electricity account has to happen, and McEvoy said that could take up to two days to handover.

“The light will be on within a few days, I imagine,” he said.

He said that the council is to take the lights and the power to the sewage pumping system in charge.

KCC has also applied for funding from the government to complete the estate. He estimates the cost to complete the road network in Chambers Park will be “in the order of €250,000″ and said it could take eight months for the road to be completed.

After this, there is the potential for the council to take the estate in charge when the work is completed.

Frustrating

image

Part of Chambers Park. Pic: Google

McGarry said that Chambers Park residents – who include an 85-year-old and a newborn baby – “have to wait and see” what happens next.

He said that the residents find it “very frustrating that this can drag into a possible sixth day”.

“At this stage it’s very annoying,” he said.

The novelty of it has worn off very quickly. People are annoyed now. The anger is palpable.

Chambers Park is an unfinished housing estate whose developers went into liquidation after four years in receivership.

Yesterday, KCC said that in light of the health and safety aspect to the situation, it was making arrangements with the utility company to restore the public lighting in Chambers Park.

Electric Ireland, which supplies the electricity, said that it last received payment for the park’s public lighting account from the developers in April 2009.

It said that KCC told Electric Ireland in January of this year it would not be taking responsibility for paying future electricity bills.

Electric Ireland said it then wrote to the residents association and to KCC requesting that one of them take over responsibility for paying future electricity bills.

It said it also informed them that the electricity supply would be withdrawn after 16 February 2014 if nobody registered with Electric Ireland so that the supply could be placed in their name.

Today, McGarry said that though a letter was sent to the committee, it was never received by them as it was not addressed to a specific person.

Electric Ireland said yesterday:

When it has been agreed who will take over the account for future billing, their supplier will need to contact ESB Networks so that arrangements can be put in place to reconnect supply.

Read: ‘People walk around with torches’: Street lighting turned off in unfinished estate>

Read: “The situation hasn’t been resolved”: Fears lights could be turned off in more estates>

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