Enniscorthy Council Round-Up by Dan Walsh 01/10/17 : the chronicle.ie

Enniscorthy Council Round-Up by Dan Walsh 01/10/17

| October 1, 2017

Families living above the shop again!

Once it was commonplace for families to live above the shop in town centres, however, the practice declined sharply in recent decades, mainly due to health and safety requirements and increased insurance costs.

However, a return to families growing up ‘over the shop’ can become a reality with the blessing of Wexford County Council’s social housing plan provided the usual fire and building regulations are met.

Cllr Paddy Kavanagh raised the matter at the September meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council held in the Presentation Centre during a discussion on the Vacant Housing Repair and Leasing Initiative, also known as the Repair and Leasing Initiative or RLI.

Cllr Kavanagh made reference to vacant living accommodation “over shops in town centres” and wanted to know if the scheme would consider “living over the shop again”.

Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan asked about the position regarding vacant property that may be in “poor condition.”

Barry Browne from the Repair & Lease Housing and Community Section said the Council was “open to all offers subject to conditions, fire doors, alarms and other requirements.”

Cllr Willie Kavanagh wanted to know the length of time that houses that don’t have planning issues could be accommodated and he was told – about six months.

Cllr Johnny Mythen enquired if there would be an inspection by the Council to see if the property was “up to standard” for tenants.

Chairman, Cllr Keith Doyle was anxious that the contract would be engaging and would not make the tenants situation worse.

The meeting heard that there were already 33 expressions of interest and the amount of money available was €40,000 (plus VAT) and the minimum lease term is 10 years, but preferably 20 years.

The RLI new scheme is a key component in the Rebuilding Plan for Housing and Homelessness intent on targeting the delivery of social housing and to ensure that the existing housing stock is used to the maximum degree possible.

The basis of the scheme is that repair and improvement works to suitable vacant properties are funded to bring them up to the standard for rented accommodation and the cost of works is then deducted from lease payments over an agreed lease term.

“Wexford County Council will assist property owners to develop the scope of works and also aid the property owner in the completion of the repair works,” concluded Mr Browne.


Publish results of the Vinegar Hill ‘historic find’


Vinegar Hill is being hailed as the lynchpin of tourism for Enniscorthy and a recent archaeological investigation that recovered lost artefacts and identified the site of a mass grave drew strong support from members at the September meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council.

Cllr Johnny Mythen urged the Council to “record the historic finds” and he pointed out that at present “only the mill is covered”, but John Carley, Director of Services, assured him that “the area will receive proper protection.”

Cllr Mythen felt that the Vinegar Hill investigation was “a game changer for the town. These are our ancestors and we are speaking about respect.”

District Manager, Liz Hore, told the meeting that next year marks the 220th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion and plans are in the pipeline for an archaeologist conference and the publication of a book.

Cllr Paddy Kavanagh pointed out the importance of Vinegar Hill as a celebrated battlesite, however, he felt that normal life must continue in the vicinity and he warned against “treasure hunters traipsing through fields of barley.”

He asked for engagement with everybody and not to forget the locals!

Cllr Kathleen Codd-Nolan favoured people walking their dogs, Chairman Keith Doyle stressed the need to tackle the ‘dog’s situation’.

“Dog fouling and children don’t mix,” he added and stated that the chairman’s allowance is going towards the Vinegar Hill re-enactment.

Ms Hore indicated that the people who conducted the survey will be invited to a future meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council to reveal their findings.

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