Hundreds more to be forced out of their homes over fire threat
HUNDREDS of people will be forced to leave their homes after fire officers discovered a blaze risk at their housing development.
Urgent repairs need to be carried out at 270 units in Belmayne, Balgriffin, north Dublin, which will take up to four days to complete for each house, it emerged last night.
The works are needed because the construction company that built the units failed to install a thin layer of double plasterboard between the walls and ceilings that would help prevent fire from spreading.
The problem emerged last January, but residents were only told yesterday. It comes as people who bought homes in the nearby Priory Hall complex continue to live in rented accommodation after their homes were deemed to pose an unacceptable fire risk.
Repairing all the affected homes will take up to two months, and residents will be accommodated in empty units in the complex or in rented accommodation while their home is being worked on.
In a statement, developers Kitara Limited, trading as Stanley Holdings, said the problem was discovered following routine repair work to an apartment that had been damaged following a burst pipe.
They immediately contacted the chief fire officer of Dublin City Council and fire engineering consultants Jeremy Gardner Associates, who prepared and agreed an action plan to complete the repairs.
"In the opinion of both the fire officer and the JGA, the defect identified does not warrant any residents having to move out of their homes," it said.
"Residents might regrettably have to relocate for up to four days if their property is one that is identified as requiring repair. The aim is to minimise disruption and have the matter rectified as quickly as possible with the minimum of inconvenience to all residents of Belmayne."
Belmayne was launched by celebrity couple Jamie and Louise Redknapp in April 2007 at a high-profile, glitzy event.
The showhouses were designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and a special edition gardening book by Diarmuid Gavin was produced. Football pundit Jamie Redknapp and wife Louise came to Dublin to launch the development.
But yesterday it emerged that beneath the glamorous facade, sub-standard construction work was being carried out.
The units were built by LM Developments Limited, which is controlled by Donal Caulfield.
The company is now in liquidation and no longer trading.
Dublin City Council said Kitara would carry out the repair works, which would result in the "defect" being addressed.
The Department of the Environment said last night that new rules to improve compliance with fire safety regulations would be introduced later in the year.
The rules would make it mandatory for owners, builders and designers of buildings to provide evidence of compliance with building regulations, spokesman said.