A report published today by The Advisory Group on Unfinished Housing Developments has identified a total of 348 of the 2,846 ghost estates nationwide as having high public safety risks saying that the estates need to be dealt with as a priority as there are large numbers of vacant and partially completed structures in developments where people are living.
In response, Minister for Housing and Local Services, Mr. Michael Finneran who is to step down at the next election has made €5million in funding available to carry out safety improvements. The money, the Minister said, is not intended for the completion of developments but to address immediately the most pressing problems, such as open excavations, unprotected upper floor levels in half-built housing, or uncovered manholes. In “extreme cases” it may be necessary for a local authority to compulsorily acquire all or parts of the estate under the Derelict Sites Act, which could result in some demolition.
While this is good news for some, many taxpayers are angry that they will now have to pay for the clean up left behind by some developers. During the boom time developers got almost €870m in tax breaks to build thousands of houses that are not only lying idle but are now a huge safety hazard. Instead of the clean up operation or demolition, punters have suggested that the unfinished “ghost estate” properties should be sold at a deflated price and then finished by an elected builder or contractor to a point where they are safe for the owners to complete the internal finishes themselves.
Have Your Say:
- Here to haunt: Is there a solution to Ireland’s Ghost Estates?
- Should we demolish, finish or sell them off?