A South East Clare Councillor insists infrastructure at Clare’s largest estate must be improved before work on a new social housing development goes ahead.
Work on the 22-house development at the back of Westbury estate, which already has around 1,000 homes in it, will begin at the end of the year, some five years after residents there first protested against it.
But concern is still being expressed that the facilities won’t be able to cope.
In 2014, NAMA lodged a planning application for a 22-house development on a parcel of land at the back of Westbury, which it snapped up three years earlier.
It was a move that caused serious concern among those living there.
With over 1,000 houses, Westbury is Munster’s largest estate and more than 100 residents lodged submissions with Clare County Council against the plan, with the primary concerns being about the impact on existing infrastructure.
The application ultimately went to An Bord Pleanála, which gave it the green light, and now, work is expected to begin on the project in Quarter 4 of this year.
Sarah Koyce is a resident in the estate and says even as things stand, they are concerned about their facilities.
One of the biggest sticking points for residents there is the fact that there’s just one entrance to Westbury with over 1,000 households using it.
On top of that, the volume of traffic using the main route into Limerick daily means commuters can face hour-long drives for a 4.5km journey.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Cathal Crowe lives in Westbury and was one of the original objectors.
He says they’re not opposed to council houses in their back yards but adding so many more residents to an estate already above capacity, without improving amenities, is a concern.
For now, work is set to begin on the houses by the end of this year with an expected completion date of summer 2021.