Houses under construction at Charlestown, Mullingar. (File pic.)

Work on 170 new houses in progress

There are 173 new-build housing units on site in the county and others at various stages of planning, according to a report to the April meeting of Westmeath County Council. The report also revealed there were 1,423 people on the council’s housing list as of the end of February.

The council recently received approval for 22 affordable units in Moate and have been approved for 43 in Harbour Meadows, Mullingar, along with a number of projects that they are advancing and working on in-house. Ten affordable housing units at Bower Hill, and 19 at Baylough, Athlone, are ready to be allocated.

Cllr Frankie Keena asked why it had taken so long to allocate the Baylough units and was told that “snagging” had to be completed before they could be allocated.

Cllr Louise Heavin and Cllr Paul Hogan were concerned about the 50 people in emergency accommodation in Westmeath. They were told that there was zero homelessness in the county because the council managed to get accommodation or help for those who were about to become homeless.

Mark Keaveney, senior executive with the council, gave a rundown of the schemes in the pipeline.

Approved Housing Board Schemes in progress in Mullingar include 13 units at Springfield, 18 at Ashe road, and 99 at Charlestown; and in Athlone, 130 units at Dun na Rí, Coosan, and 15 at Bower Hill. In Cornamaddy, Athlone, a 108-unit scheme is ready to go to stage two of the planning process “very shortly”, while six units at Belvedere Orphanage, Tyrrellspass, “a difficult site”, are almost at stage two. Units at Connaught Street, Athlone, are likely to be under construction by the end of the year.

Thirty two units at Canal Avenue, Mullingar, are expected to go to tender “very soon”. Forty units at Railway Row, Mullingar, cannot proceed until the local development plan is updated to allow for land rezoning.

Schemes at Water Street, Castlepollard, Ennell Court, Dalton Park and Abbeylands, Mullingar, and Coosan/ Abbey Road and Rindoon, Athlone, have advanced to stage two or beyond. Arcadia Phase 2, Athlone, has been stage three approved.

Advanced planning is under way for projects at: Killucan Childcare Site, Killucan – four units; Connaught Street, Athlone – five units (work to start by the end of the year; Abbey Road, Athlone – four units;Thornbury Drive, Athlone – four units; and Ennell Court, Phase 3, Mullingar – 16 Units.

One-unit projects at Abbeylands, Mullingar and Abbey Road, Athlone, are almost ready to go to tender.