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New contractor appointed to finish off Ballybane social housing project


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

New contractor appointed to finish off Ballybane social housing project New contractor appointed to finish off Ballybane social housing project

Construction work on a stalled social housing scheme in Ballybane is expected to resume next month.

A replacement contractor – JJ Rhatigan – will finish the 58-house scheme on behalf of Galway City Council.

Workers from the company have been seen on site in recent weeks after it was awarded a contract to finish Garraí Beag.

The Council terminated its contract with the original contractor, Glenman Construction, in June of last year.

That decision led to delays to the project, and a legal battle in the courts.

There is an estimated 15 months’ work outstanding on thesite, and completion is expected before the end of 2024.

The development includes a mixture of four-bed, three-bed and two-bed houses, as well as duplex units and one- and two-bed apartments.

Government funding for the €10.7 million project was committed in 2018, and ‘Part 8’ planning permission – where councillors approve an application – was secured.

It went to tender in 2019 and work commenced in 2020.

Originally due to be finished in November 2021, Covid-19 delayed the project.

It was also beset with contractual issues, which were highlighted previously in this newspaper.

Galway City Council yesterday confirmed the appointment of a new contractor.

“Following the public procurement procedure for the completion of the Garraí Beag social housing scheme of 58 units at Ballybaan More, JJ Rhatigan & Company were identified as the successful tenderer, having submitted the most economically advantageous tender.

“Subsequent to the expiration of the standstill period, Galway City Council accepted the tender and entered into contract with JJ Rhatigan & Company for the completion of the housing project. Works will commence on site in the coming weeks, and with a contract period of 15 months, the scheme is due for completion in December 2024,” the local authority said.

Councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) welcomed the appointment of a replacement contractor.

“I understand the new contractor will be starting in September. That is welcome news, but it is going to take five years to deliver 58 houses. There should be people in there now with their legs up at this stage,” he said.

Cllr Cheevers said there would be “a lot of keys being handed out over the next four months” including a new development on Coast Road and at Ballybrit.

Sinn Féin election hopeful, Mark Lohan, said the lack of progress was a “stark reminder of the continued failure” of the City Council to “progress any direct housing projects”.

“City residents are being short changed and left without security of tenure while these 58 badly need homes rot on the exposed foundations and blocks for almost two years now,” said Mr Lohan, a member of the Council’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC).

“At the most recent Housing SPC meeting it was reported that a new contractor would be on site by the end of April. We are now three months on from that promise and the tumble weed blows across the empty and abandoned site. This is the most visible statement of the inaction of our current members of the City Council,” he said.

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