Residents angry public lights not turned on in €15m estate

By Maurice Garvey

LONG overdue public lighting at a social housing development, due to be turned on this week, have yet to be turned on.

Tenants first moved into the new €15m Orchard Meadows development in Cherry Orchard late last year.

Orchard Meadows smashed window last week

Delays in construction and utility connections have meant only 36 of the 72 homes are occupied to date.

Last week, Dublin City Council received confirmation from project manager for the development Co-operative Housing Ireland, that the street lighting in Orchard Meadows will be commissioned, tested and fully operational by April 8.

However, DCC sent a memo to local councillors on Wednesday stating the street lights are still not in operation.

The memo contained an explanation from the project manager, apologising for “forwarding advice previously that the lights were on.”

It said the project manager was advised by the electrical sub-contractor that the lights had been turned on.

“Having discovered after the fact, that this was not the case, I have been advised that the ESB did turn up to turn on the lights but they left without providing power due to a technical issue relating to mini-pillar markings.”

 CHI say the ESB are booked to attend the site again next week.

Before Christmas, site contractor MDY went through financial difficulties, which led to builders pulling tools off site amid fears they wouldn’t be paid.

However, the contractor returned to the site in recent months, and finishing touches have been carried out on the remaining 36 homes, with tenants from Dublin City Council housing list due to move in soon.

Earlier this year, Councillor Daithí Doolan, said residents were being “terrorised” by the lack of action on public lighting, after a burglary and incidents of anti-social behavior.

Cllr Doolan said: “I am deeply disappointed that the street lighting in Orchard Meadows has not been fixed. Cooperative Housing Ireland must make every effort to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

“It is unacceptable that residents have been living for months with no street lights. It is making life difficult for families. I hope the lighting is switched on very shortly.”

Cllr Nortun and TD Brid Smith met CHI officials on site last Friday.

“The lack of urgency on the site is tremendously frustrating,” said Cllr Nortun.

“Gardens left abandoned, metal fencing has been left up and, disgracefully, houses have been broken into and left with their windows smashed.

“Families were told a year ago that they would be housed. They have done everything requested by Dublin City Council and CHI, and yet they have been let down time and again.”

CHI did not respond to The Echo by the time of going to print.

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