DUNDALK WAS among the top ten towns in Ireland with a high number of 'unfinished estates', according to new figures from the Department of the Environment.
The town was placed behind Gorey, Carlow and Cavan, and was reported to have 17 estates in various stages of construction.
Some estates were highlighted as having ' little likelihood of ever being finished' with the controversial Ard Dealgan apartment block in Quay Street being singled out for failing to have a single resident.
Concerns have been raised locally about the development, after trespassers were reported to be regularly gaining access to the apartments.
A spokesman for Louth County Council said that steps had been taken to secure Ard Dealgan, including the boarding off of entry ways to stop unauthorised access.
He explained that the local authority had supplied information to the department for the latest survey of unfinished or 'ghost' estates.
' Louth County Council also drew down €40,000 from the national fund for remedial works in four areas of the county including Omeath, Carlingford, Knockbridge and Termonfeckin.'
This fund was set up to make safe the developments which had been completely abandoned, following the death of a toddler who died after wandering on to a 'ghost' estate in Westmeath.
' The monies were essentially to carry out safety works, and on Louth sites this included fencing off unsafe areas, backfilling unfinished pipeworks and securing of manholes.'
In Louth, the Unfinished Estates Resolution Working Group was set up to examined the broad issues of housing developments which are at various stages of completion.
The spokesman said that, following a review, no estates which were identified as unfinished in Dundalk had been deemed 'dangerous' or 'unsafe'.
'But as a result of work already carried out, areas of concern have been reduced by about 50%,' said the spokesman.
He added that the local authority are working with a number of developers and receivers to have outstanding works completed in a number of developments across the county.
'In general these are issues that are required to be completed to bring the development up to the standards imposed by the planning permission. In some cases they may include using the bonds collected as part of the planning process.'