State set to pay for demolition of 40 ghost estates

Update 2.30pm: The move has been confirmed by Michael Noonan, who called such ghost estates "monuments to the skeleton of the Celtic Tiger".

The state is likely to foot the bill for the demolition of about 40 ghost estates around the country.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan has drawn up a list of the most problematic estates, with many of them to be bulldozed from next year.

The areas worst affected will include parts of the West and the Midlands.

Expert in regional and spatial analysis, Professor Rob Kitchin of NUI Maynooth, said the developers are unlikely to pay the demolition bill.

"Obviously the developers are probably bust, which is one of the reasons why they've not finished [the estates]," he said.

"They have a lack of access to finance… they can't go to the bank looking for money to finish these off. It will probably be the State and the local authority that steps in and will pay for the cost of demolition."

He also said most of these houses are not finished and could not be lived in, nor were they located in suitable places for social housing, being isolated with no access to public services or transport.

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