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Beautiful Things

Second Refugee Housing Project Halted in a Week: First Manor Kilbride, Now Westmeath

Up to 18 modular homes were delivered to Coole village at 4 o'clock this morning, with HGVs blocking a local road for several hours.

A private developer has been stopped from setting up modular housing for refugees in Westmeath.

Up to 18 modular homes were delivered to Coole village at 4 o'clock this morning, with HGVs blocking a local road for several hours.

Local reports suggest the delivery is connected to plans to house up to 100 asylum seekers on site.

Enterprise Minister and local TD Peter Burke has confirmed the landowner hasn't been granted permission and an enforcement notice is now in place.

He says the government doesn't intend to use the site.

Meanwhile, Kfm recently reported how Wicklow County Council has ordered a developer to demolish a large housing development used to house asylum seekers allegedly built without planning permission.

In an enforcement notice issued to the owners of Kippure Manor Estate in Manor Kilbride on May 10th, council officials said they had five days to cease all construction works at the site.

They have been given 16 weeks to demolish all properties on-site.

The owner of the estate is a Dublin-based company called Tondo Limited, but it has been leased to another company called Seefin Events Unlimited.

Within 16 weeks, the developer is required to cease residential occupation of 14 two-storey dwelling houses and fully demolish them, including their foundations. Additionally, they are mandated to demolish 51 dwelling house units, along with their foundations and a retaining wall.

The developer must also restore the impacted ground areas by backfilling excavated areas and planting vegetation.

Failure to comply within the specified timeframe empowers the council to intervene and conduct the demolition, with the developer bearing the associated costs.

Cllr Gerry O'Neill described the development as probably "the biggest planning scandal" to ever hit the country.

He said locals in the area are in shock, with historical trees and the Old Belfy that dated back to 1840 demolished to build the development.

"You know, to see a beautiful part of the the county -  a town being built there without any planning. I mean, the people of the area have been in shock. It has been very frustrating. As I pointed out at Monday's meeting, it's probably one of the greatest planning scandals to hit the country in a long, long time."

He said he has "no doubt" that the developers will challenge the council's decision.

He said over 200 asylum seekers are being accommodated at the "town" and that hundreds more were due to be accommodated there in the coming months.

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