Community ‘upset’ at further delay of housing scheme for older people
TERMINATION of the contractor at older persons’ housing schemes in Fernwood and Maplewood has further delayed the projects, leaving the community “upset” with the “huge setback”.
Initially valued at €9.5m, the 23 homes at Fernwood Park and 17 homes with a community room at Maplewood Park in Tallaght has gone through several delays over the past year.
In the latest update, as reported in The Echo last week, the approved housing body appointed to manage the development, Clúid Housing, had terminated the contract with FORRME Construction.
Now, South Dublin County Council has stated that it will work with Clúid to figure out what way to proceed.
“Clúid Housing advised the council this week that they terminated the construction contract for their proposed age-friendly housing developments at Maplewood and Fernwood, having determined that the contractor was not in a position to complete the project,” a council spokesperson told The Echo.
“The council will now work with Clúid to support the most appropriate course of action to ensure delivery of these much-needed homes as soon as possible.”
There was substantial opposition to the project to the sum of 596 submissions before it was voted through the council in 2018.
Construction was due to be carried out over a 15-month period and completed in October 2021.
The two developments were delayed to November 2021, and again until March 2022 before settling on August/September – as outlined in an update in May.
Labour and material shortages were originally cited as the reasons behind delaying the projects, before Clúid took the decision to cut ties with the contractor.
Clúid did state that “it will now proceed with an exercise to appoint a new contractor”.
The Echo understands that Clúid is in discussion with another contractor.
The approved housing body is hopeful that construction at the two sites will recommence in October following the completion of the appointment process.
Representative of the area, Cllr Charlie O’Connor has been facilitating concerns from residents in the locality, who are said to be “upset” with the ongoing issues.
“People in the community are upset and disappointed with the news that this important project has been further delayed,” Cllr O’Connor says to The Echo.
“We need to ensure that the site is safe for the local community, and people who are hoping to avail of these properties are obviously disappointed as well because they are being delayed.
“This is a huge setback and blow to the community.
“We need to know what is happening. If Clúid do what they are saying, in that a new contractor will be on-site in a month, then that is fine.
“Clúid have been appointed by the council. So, the council need to give assurances that everything is being done to ensure that what Clúid is saying is brought to bear, and that a new contractor is on-site fast because it is a serious issue.”
Clúid has committed to working with the local authority to ensure the project gets over the line.
“Clúid Housing is currently in the process of engaging a contractor to complete 40 new social homes and a new community centre at Fernwood Green and Maplewood Heights, Tallaght, Co Dublin,” Eibhlin O’Connor, Head of New Business, Clúid Housing, on the schemes at Fernwood and Maplewood, told The Echo.
“We’re working with South Dublin County Council and other partners, including the local community, to ensure these new homes are completed as soon as possible.”