NAMA to demolish its first block of flats on outskirts of Longford
State bad loans agency NAMA has decided for the first time to demolish a derelict apartment block it owns.
The apartment block -- in the Gleann Riada estate on the outskirts of Longford town -- comprises 12 unsold units that are in disrepair.
It is understood another half a dozen NAMA-controlled ghost estates will be knocked down before the end of the year as the loans agency returns half-built houses and apartments to green areas. NAMA controls about 280 unfinished developments, some 10pc of the total.
Local Fine Gael councillor Peggy Nolan said the Gleann Riada development was "Longford's Priory Hall", referring to the apartment complex in north Dublin that had to be evacuated last year due to shoddy building work.
Residents of the Longford estate have staged a long campaign to have their development properly completed.
The unoccupied apartment block at the entrance to the development has also been vandalised.
There are 90 houses on the estate on Strokestown Road that won't be affected, 80pc of which are occupied.
Ms Nolan said demolition work was already under way and that some of the area would be returned to grass.
She said original plans for the Gleann Riada estate had been for the inclusion of a hotel, creche and shops, none of which have been built.
Last week, Longford Town Council said it had served a health and safety notice to residents in the estate, which was built by Antrim developer Alastair Jackson. There was an explosion on the estate earlier this year caused by a build-up of methane gas.
The council said there were "major defects" in the estate's sewer systems and that there had also been an accumulation of hydrogen sulphide levels in some homes that exceeded World Health Organisation guidelines.