County council issues legal warnings over ghost estates

County council issues legal warnings over ghost estates

Cork County Council has issued legal warnings to owners/developers and financial institutions involved in three ghost estates, stating they have 14 days to come up with a plan to make them safe, writes Sean O’Riordan.

These are the first warnings shots in a“get tough” policy aimed at financial institutions and owners/developers who have been dragging their feet over rectifying issues in ghost estates.

Financial institutions are being targeted because they hold insurance policy bonds which are supposed to be paid out to finish off such estates, should developers get into difficulty or go bust.

If the warning letters fail to generate a satisfactory response, the council has confirmed it will take immediate steps to issue a statutory dangerous structures notices under dangerous structures legislation.

This will allow the local authority to move in, take over the sites, carry out the safety works, and then recoup the money from those they have issued the legal notices to.

One of the warning notices has been issued in respect of Lios na Greine in the North Cork village Lismire.

A county council spokes-man said there are five partially-built houses on that estate which “are in a very bad state of repair” and it is highly likely that they will have to be demolished.

The council has tried over the past year to get a resolution for the estate, which was built 12 years ago.

Two other estates being targeted are in Charleville.

There are also five partially-constructed houses at Lios na Rí and there are open manhole and sewerage covers on the site.

The council spokesman said the five buildings may need to be demolished. However, he said it is hoped they can be saved as there is a housing need in Charleville.

“This area is not properly fenced off or secured,” he added.

In 2010, there were 280 unfinished estates in Cork, but this has been reduced to around 50.

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner website.


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