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Friday 17 January 2020

More than 1,000 'high-demand' homes lying idle in unfinished 'ghost' developments

Damien English said that 248 estates were resolved in 2016 Picture: Frank McGrath
Damien English said that 248 estates were resolved in 2016 Picture: Frank McGrath

Paul Melia

More than 40 housing developments remain unfinished in areas of high demand, with no works under way on some despite the crisis.

A new report from the Department of Housing notes that 42 'ghost' estates remain in built-up areas, despite an overall reduction across the country.

There are two in Meath, three each in Galway and Cork cities, nine in Wicklow, 10 in Kildare and 15 in Dublin city.

The 'Resolving Unfinished Developments' report says 1,121 houses and apartments are complete but vacant in the 420 remaining unfinished developments.

Works are taking place in just 15 of these sites.

South Dublin County Council is the only local authority in the country with no unfinished developments.

Overall, just 420 remain across the country, compared with 2,846 in 2010.

Damien English, Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, said that 248 estates were resolved last year, with 2,000 homes being used for social housing. The Government expected to buy or lease another 1,300 this year, with a focus on areas where demand for homes is highest.

The report also shows that councils are taking legal action against 123 owners or receivers to bring the estates up to a safe standard and in line with planning permission.

Bonds totalling €6m were drawn down last year to complete works, but local authorities have lodged 190 claims with the special liquidators of the former Anglo-Irish Bank to secure another €28m. In some cases, councils have been forced to demolish units, with 69 razed last year.

This includes 53 in two developments in Co Clare and Co Longford, which included the demolition of 24 units in three unfinished apartment blocks in Aishling, Ennis.

The National Asset Management Agency has 15 unfinished developments under its control, six of which are in Cork.

The State has spent €15m tackling estates since 2010.

Irish Independent

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