More than a year since demolition plans for up to 20 homes in another ghost estate were announced, the process has stalled.
Cork County Council confirmed it has been unable to secure the agreement of a landowner linked to the Lios na Gréine estate in Lismire, which was developed more than 12 years ago, regarding the demolition element of one area of the estate as part of a wider programme of works designed to resolve complex issues at this site.
It did, however, confirm that following lengthy negotiations, the bond provider has agreed to fund a programme of remedial works on the estate.
“The contractor is currently on-site and works to the public areas are substantially complete,” a spokesman said.
“However, a group of partly-constructed houses which are proposed for demolition remain standing because the county council have been unable to secure the agreement of the landowner to this element of the programme of works.”
Local councillor Bernard Moynihan said this is a classic example of the difficulties facing communities and local authorities trying to tackle the legacy of ghost estates.
“There are up to 20 highly dangerous structures in this estate and the only solution is to level them,” he said.
“A good share of the work on the ground has been done — we are almost halfway there, with drainage and sewage works complete — but these dangerous houses are still standing because of a legal issue.”
The bond was paid over early last year after years of talks and negotiations.
Council officials were praised at the time for their dogged pursuit of the bondholders.
But following the agreement of a site resolution plan, and the release of the bond money, the council has been hit with another obstacle over the proposed demolition of the unsafe and unfinished houses.
A council spokesman said officials are continuing to work with various stakeholders in all the remaining unfinished estates, and are pursuing a number of avenues, up to and including legal action, in a bid to resolve the issues.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved