A report release yesterday, entitled “Resolving Ireland’s Unfinished Housing Estates” found that some 23,250 dwellings in the state were completed and vacant, and almost another 10,000 were near complete. Of these, 230 developments have effectively been abandoned, where the developer or site owner is not contactable, where no receiver has been appointed and where there are “significant planning, building control compliance and public safety issues to be addressed”. If receivers were appointed the banks would be legally responsible for clearing up the mess. Banks across the board have been blamed for refusing to address the problem.
Speaking at the launch of the report Minister for Housing and Planning Willie Penrose said a national co-ordination committee to manage work on ghost estates will be established in the next two weeks. He is to chair the committee himself to ensure work is carried out and will also introduce legislation to give powers to local authorities to take over estates where work is not being completed. He said the option of doing nothing with unfinished estates was “untenable” and “If there is any reluctance or tardiness or delay or obfuscation, or procrastination they will be hit with the Derelict Sites Act and other legislation where required.” he added.
Already some €1.5m has been allocated to 10 local authorities to complete basic safety works such as filling trenches, fencing-off building sites and installing manhole covers. Another €3.5m will be paid out over the coming months.
Have your say:
- Should we provide funds to make safe Ghost Estates that have been abandoned by developers?
- Should Banks and Developers take responsibility for these derelict sites?
- What should be done with the 33,250 vacant properties?