Saturday 25 February 2017

Firetrap residents reject offer to help fund safety works

Paul Melia and Shane Phelan

The DDDA and receivers have offered a total of €2.75m towards total repair costs of €4.75m, but the Longboat Quay Management Company has insisted that it has only received a firm commitment to pay €750,000
The DDDA and receivers have offered a total of €2.75m towards total repair costs of €4.75m, but the Longboat Quay Management Company has insisted that it has only received a firm commitment to pay €750,000

A row has broken out between residents of a Dublin apartment block and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) over who will foot the €4m repair bill to make urgent safety repairs.

The DDDA and receivers have offered a total of €2.75m towards total repair costs of €4.75m, but the Longboat Quay Management Company has insisted that it has only received a firm commitment to pay €750,000.

The impasse comes after the Dublin City Fire Brigade last night said it intended to serve a fire safety notice, ordering that works be completed.

It centred on serious fire safety issues which were identified in the Longboat Quay complex more than a year ago. Developer Bernard McNamara built the homes in 2006, but works are needed across almost 300 apartments to make them safe.

Separately, it has emerged that fire safety issues are a common feature among many boom-era developments.

State bad bank Nama has spent €100m to date tackling "fire hazards" across its portfolio, it said. The agency has previously said that building defects, including failure to comply with fire safety regulations, had been a "prevalent feature" of many residential developments it took control of.

Chief executive Brendan McDonagh told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee there was one complex of 300 apartments which could not yet go on the market due to fire safety concerns over 150 of the units.

It would cost up to €11m to complete the repairs, after which the properties would go on the market. It is also understood that Nama has completed works at one high-profile development on the southside of Dublin, with another on the northside also requiring investment.

But the ongoing issue of who will pay the €4m repair bill for Longboat Quay took a new twist after the DDDA and receivers appointed to Gendsong Ltd, controlled by Bernard McNamara and which built the complex, made a final offer of €2.75m.

The DDDA said it had already spent €1m carrying out repair works, and would provide another €1.75m in 'new' money with the receiver, Grant Thornton. The total cost of completing repairs is €4.75m - meaning residents would have to find €2m.

The DDDA controls 36 units and common areas of the complex, and the receivers another 18. It insisted that its contribution would cover 58pc of the works, with residents in the remaining 244 units being asked to fund the remainder. It is understood that the offer is final, and not subject to negotiation.

But the Longboat Quay Management Company insisted that it had received an offer of just €750,000, with no firm commitment from the receiver.

"We have received an offer of €750,000 from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) towards fixing the outstanding fire safety issues at Longboat Quay," it said.

"We have received no formal confirmed offer at this point from the receiver, however the receiver has indicated it will make a contribution.

"While the fact that an offer has been made is welcome, we believe it is wholly unacceptable. The terms and conditions attached to this offer are equally unacceptable. Given these realities, we remain unable at this point to award a contract to rectify the defects and therefore avoid enforcement action by Dublin Fire Brigade. We are seeking legal advice."

It is not clear if Mr McNamara or professionals who certified the building as safe will be pursued for any costs.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News