Thursday 29 September 2016

Development authority offer Longboat Quay residents €2m towards their vital €4m building works bill

Denise Calnan, Paul Melia and Niall O'Connor

Published 01/10/2015 | 16:34

Longboat Quay Apartments near dublin's Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Mark Condren
Longboat Quay Apartments near dublin's Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Mark Condren

RESIDENTS in a Dublin apartment complex will have to find €2m to repair fire safety issues in their homes, despite an offer of financial support.

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The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) has told homeowners this afternoon that both they and the receivers will provide a total of €2.75m towards the cost of repairs - €2m short of what is required.

The contribution includes €1m already spent upgrading a fire alarm system at the Longboat Quay apartment complex, built by developer Bernard McNamara and completed in 2006.

It was completed by a company owned by the developer, called Gendsong Limited. Receivers Grant Thornton, which has an interest in 18 apartments, will also part-fund the works to a total of €2.75m, of which €1.75m is ‘new’ money.

In a statement, the DDDA said it had written to the Longboat Quay Management Company with a “formal final offer” of financial support towards the cost of the necessary remediation works.

“The authority understands that the receiver over the assets of Gendsong Limited , whose interest includes 18 apartments in the complex, will also be making a substantial contribution towards the remediation works,” it said in a statement.

“The authority’s contribution and the receiver’s combined amount to approximately €2.75m, or 58pc of the estimated €4.75m cost of the work, undertaken to date and required), to ensure that the development meets all relevant fire prevention and safety standards and regulations.  

“This will leave an estimated €2m to be financed by the management company and the apartment owners.”

The latest building controversy hit the floor of the Dail this week where Mary Lou McDonald called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to personally phone the developer Mr Bernard McNamara, whose company built the complex in 2006. The firm later went into receivership.

“He’s back in business. Things seem to be good for him again,” Ms McDonald said during ‘Leaders’ Questions’.

Mr Kenny said he is conscious of the difficulties faced by the families and that the country remembers the plight of the residents of Priory Hall.

“There may be others in the system,” Mr Kenny said.

Tanaiste Joan Burton said Dublin City Council should 'step up to the table' and work with the fire authorities to resolve the safety defects facing the families living at Longboat Quay.

The Labour Party leader today said the 600 residents invested their 'hopes and dreams' in properties at the city complex which have now been discovered to be fire hazards.

Speaking during ‘Leaders’ Questions’ today, Ms Burton piled the pressure on city chiefs to work with Dublin Fire Brigade to find a solution.

“Those families have invested their hopes and their dreams and it has found to be a fire hazard by Dublin Fire Brigade,” Ms Burton told the Dáil.

“I think what’s necessary is that Dublin City will actually step up to the table and actually work with the fire authority to address the issues which are very, very serious,” she added.

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