The issue of county councils taking private roads in charge has become increasingly common. In Swords the Boroimhe and Cianela estates have recently requested that they be taken in charge. In other estates built during the construction boom residents have also begun to investigate the procedures to take their estate or road in charge. Why do situations like this occur? In most cases councils are being requested to take an estate in charge as a result of the legacy of the boom. In many instances residents and homeowners have found themselves in estates that are either unfinished or where the quality of roads and other facilities are substandard.
It is a situation that many people find themselves in through no fault of their own. They will have bought property in good faith and would have had the legitimate expectation that they were buying not just a home but a community. However people in this situation have been let down by regulation, planning and the developers. While understandably councils do not want to take on additional financial responsibilities the reality is people in those estates pay their taxes and in most cases have been included in the property tax register. If they are expected to pay towards the running of local authorities the least they are entitled to in return is support from councils if their estate remains inadequate.
It is worth noting the process that people in those situations have to go through. It is a very complicated process, firstly a plebiscite needs to be conducted with the owners of the properties to ascertain if the majority wish to offer the public areas to be taken in charge. Once this is completed the Council still has to confirm whether it is willing to take the public areas in charge. Finally the request must be accompanied by the following documentation:
- Submission of the “as constructed drawings” of the completed development in AutoCAD format with all public utilities to be taken in charge shown.
- The full recent CCTV record of all foul and surface water sewers, checked and certified by a competent person.
- Submission of the certificates of compliance/confirmation by competent Professional Architect, Engineer, Planner or Surveyor responsible for designing and supervision of the construction that the development has been carried out in accordance with the relevant Planning Permission/s granted.
- A snag of the development to ensure full and satisfactory completion of all works.
- Submission of the certificates of compliance/confirmation by competent Professional Architect, Engineer or Surveyor responsible for designing and supervision of the construction that the development has been carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Building Control Act 1990-2009, the relevant Building Control Regulations and the relevant Building Regulations in particular; confirmation that the development has been constructed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Fire Safety Certificate and the relevant Disability Access Certificate.
- Certification that confirms that any financial contributions for planning have been paid.
- Submission of a copy of completed Safety file
- The Operational and Maintenance Manuals for plant and equipment
- The schedule of plant and equipment specifying its expected useful life
- All warranties and guarantees with the benefit transferred to the Council.
- Confirmation that the requirements of the Multi Unit Developments Act has been complied with.
As a resident and home owner in a new estate my aim if elected is to fight for people who find themselves in this very situation. I will be a voice for those homeowners on Fingal County Council.