Thursday 29 September 2016

Builder of fire hazard homes seeks planning for new houses

Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30

Some of the homes at Riverwalk Court in Ratoath, Co Meath
Some of the homes at Riverwalk Court in Ratoath, Co Meath

A Developer whose company built apartments that may have to be evacuated due to fire safety concerns is seeking permission to build more homes nearby.

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Michael Ryan, whose company, Saltan Properties, built units with extensive safety issues at Riverwalk Court in Ratoath, Co Meath, has a planning application being dealt with by the local authority to build houses on a site in the town.

Permission was granted in July last year by Meath County Council for 62 homes at a site in Corballis, Ratoath, to Mr Ryan, care of a firm of architects in Co Waterford.

But the Irish Independent has learned that the developer has since sought permission to add four more units to the project.

Additional information was sought in June, which was lodged last week. A final decision is expected before the end of the month.

The application was made in the name of Michael Ryan, and the only contact information on the public file is a Dublin telephone number. That number is the office of Saltan Properties, the firm behind the Riverwalk Court development. Mr Ryan could not be reached for comment.

The planning application has yet to be dealt with by the council, which has compiled a draft report on alleged fire safety issues at Riverwalk Court, built by Saltan.

The report, which was produced by the council's chief fire officer, raises serious concerns about the safety of 26 homes and four business units at the complex.

It says the building has not been constructed in line with fire regulations, and there were no fire-stopping measures in the apartments between walls or in the attic.

Fifteen breaches of fire regulations are listed, including several construction defects.

The report notes that if the building did catch fire, the emergency lighting in shared areas does not work and there is a lack of smoke control in escape stairways.

Planning authorities have powers to refuse planning permission where there have been issues with previous devel- opments undertaken by an applicant.

These can include building standards, fire safety or where enforcement notices have been served but not complied with.

Irish Independent

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