A FURTHER two month delay on work commencing on 40 houses in Kinsale, that was meant to start last year, has been blamed on a shortage of geotechnical survey specialists.
The specialists, who check the layering of the ground, are needed for the Clúid Housing development of 40 houses at Commogue, Kinsale.
Councillors expressed their frustration and disappointment with this further delay that now pushes the commencement of work on-site back to September, two years since the project was first announced.
James O’Halloran of Clúid Housing apologised to councillors for the delay and said that the original start date on the site for June had been optimistic.
Senior Council engineer Keith Jones said that they are seeing this on a lot of their construction projects because there is such a small market of geotechnical survey specialists.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said: ‘It beggars belief. I can’t understand why there is a delay and at a time where there’s a housing emergency. We’re at least 12 months behind in the project,’ said Cllr Murphy.
‘This is very bad news for Kinsale. I’m fed up at this stage now with so many excuses. We should have been in there in June and I’m desperately disappointed.’
Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) asked whether every Council project is being delayed by two months because of a lack of geotechnical surveys? He was told that two in North Cork are being delayed for the same reasons.
‘I guess the public looking in can see private developers building houses and then they look at Cork County Council and wonder why it takes so long?’ said Cllr Lombard.
However, Mr O’Halloran said that public procurement was a different process.
‘We have to have detailed designs in place and have strict documentation in place and a private developer doesn’t have to. It all takes time with a view to protecting the public purse,’ said Mr O’Halloran. Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) also said the public procurement system that both local authorities and others are forced to go through is ‘outrageous.’
‘Until we unleash ourselves from this huge burden of public procurement nothing will be done and things will be done very slowly.’
Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF) said she was optimistic that they get to that date in September.
‘All I would ask is that we are updated on the development,’ said Cllr McCarthy.
Mr O’Halloran added that they hope to make up for lost time when a contractor is appointed without losing quality.
‘It’s important we do it right and based on the dates we should be on-site in September. In terms of delivery we’re looking at between 12 to 14 months. It could be done quicker as we’re looking at doing it in two phases,’ said Mr O’Halloran.
Councillors were told that they would receive a further update at their next Municipal District meeting in September.