Cork County Council has acknowledged it acted in error by making plans for a 52-unit social housing development at Crann Ard in Fermoy public before the contracts with the proposed developer were fully signed off.
At present, the Council say a number of matters relating to the conveyance of title on the scheme still need to be resolved before the contracts can be signed.
The Council initially indicated plans for a 52-unit housing development in Fermoy in September 2016, when it reported that construction of the scheme would commence in November 2016.
Since then, in replies to various requests for a start date by The Avondhu, the Council has indicated that construction would commence in March, April, June and – most recently – in quarter four of 2017 – all without any work commencing.
TURNKEY HOUSING PROJECT
The Council said this week that ‘previous statements in relation to the commencement of the project followed the provision of indicative start dates by the developer’.
The issue was raised by Cllr Noel McCarthy at this week’s September meeting of the Northern Committee of Cork County Council, where he urged the Council to refrain from making public any plans for a development of this nature until after the contracts have been signed and work is actually set to commence.
In his reply to Cllr McCarthy, Maurice Manning, Director of Housing Services, said: “The public housing project at Crann Ard, Fermoy is a turnkey housing project. Turnkey housing projects differ from traditional social housing projects by virtue of the fact that the housing schemes are designed and constructed entirely by private developers.
“In the case of the Crann Ard Turnkey Housing Project, contracts have not yet been signed between Cork County Council and the scheme developer, as a number of matters relating to the conveyance of title on the scheme are still to be resolved. A meeting between Cork County Council and the developer is due to take place in two weeks time at which point it is hoped that these issues will be resolved to the satisfaction of Cork County Council.”
SIGN, SEAL & DELIVER
Cllr McCarthy said it was ‘totally and utterly wrong’ that information about the scheme was made public before any contract was signed and urged the Council to learn from this error going forward.
“Wait until the deal is done; until the contracts are signed; till we have the positive news that it’s moving forward. People don’t understand why it never materialised. Going forward, please do not make any announcements until the deal is done.”
James Fogarty, Divisional Manager, commented: “I do take your point, we do need to be cautious… we need to be signed, sealed and delievered before we actually announce it.”