Saturday 25 November 2017

Priory Hall II: Now Dundrum residents have to move out due to fire hazard

Ed Carty

RESIDENTS at a second major apartment complex have been told they are living in a fire hazard, it has been revealed.

Scores of tenants in The Laurels, Dundrum, south Dublin, are to be evacuated from the building as remedial work is carried out over the next three months.

The residents will be moved to new homes rent-free and will not pay any utility bills or removal and transport costs while repairs are carried out.

The fire risk at The Laurels follows the long-running dispute 240 residents of Priory Hall in north Dublin have had with developer Tom McFeely, including their evacuation last October.

Kevin Maguire, from Mullingar-based management company Bennett Property, told tenants the remedial works will ensure the building complies with fire controls.

In a letter to residents, he said: "It is envisaged that the corrective work will be finished within three months and you will not be charged rent and we will pay utility bills during the period while these works are being carried out.

"Alternatively, if you wish to end your tenancy we will facilitate this and refund your deposit and any pre-paid rent."

The Laurels, also known as The View, was built beside the Dundrum shopping centre and is in the hands of receiver KPMG.

The accountancy firm took over the complex after investment engine Tuskar Asset Management collapsed, as did the construction firm Pierse.

The issue at the 82 apartment complex differs from the long-running Priory Hall dispute in that all residents in the Dundrum site are renting rather than owner-occupiers.

It is understood one resident has opted not to renew their lease.

Peter Mathews, local Fine Gael TD, said the failure to meet fire safety regulations was further example of incompetent development.

"The shabby standard of construction in this country during the boom period is disgraceful," he said.

"People residing in apartment blocks need to feel safe in their homes and they cannot do so if basic fire and building regulations are ignored."

A statement on behalf of KPMG confirmed three full-time fire wardens have been appointed to the site.

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