'More should have been done'
Published 16/10/2012 | 11:09
THE Mayor of Fingal has hit out at the council's handling of the pyrite crisis saying it could have done more to address the problem by properly enforcing building regulations.
Mayor of Fingal Cian O'Callaghan (Lab) said that homes built with pyrite were built outside the conditions of their planning permission and in breach of building regulations. 'Once that became apparent in 2007, the council had a full array of powers to seek remediation,' he said. He said the problem was greater in Fingal than in any other area of the country and the council could have taken action before the fiveyear statute of limitations on the building regulations ran out.
He said that for the future, the council needed to do three things. It needed to 'proactively find out the extent of the problem' then seek to use its powers to move against developers and receivers in cases that are not yet outside the statute of limitations. Finally he recommended that the council press Government to change the law so that those outside the statute of limitations could also be pursued.
County manager David O'Connor committed to revisiting cases after 2007 to see if more could be done and satisfy the Mayor that the council was being 'diligent' in pursuing these cases. He said that, ultimately, the crisis was not down to the local authority but down to the national building regulations which 'simply doesn't work'. He said he hoped the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan would bring forward significant reforms in the system soon. County management also made the point that building regulations were not as easy to enforce as perhaps they seemed.