Several unfinished houses in what has dubbed ‘the worst ghost estate in the country’ are to be demolished after a financial institution agreed to pay for the work.
Last May county council chief executive Tim Lucey said he was prepared to take legal action if necessary to draw down an insurance bond held by Liberty which could be recouped to finish off work not undertaken by the developer of Lios na Gréine estate in the North Cork village of Lismire.
However, agreement has now been reached with Liberty and the council on using the €620,000 bond to level all but eight of the estate’s houses.
Council officials said Liberty has appointed consulting engineers which has presented the council with an ‘acceptable’ site resolution. Tenders have been issued through the consulting engineers for the appointment of a contractor to carry out the works.
The closing date for tenders is February 18 and contractors are expected on site within seven to eight weeks. Officials said that on completion of the works the site will up to a standard whereby it can be taken in charge by the county council and when that is complete the bond will be released.
Fianna Fáil councillor Bernard Moynihan, who petitioned the council to act on behalf of residents living there, said there was now light at the end of the tunnel.
‘’This estate has been a serious blight on the landscape since the economic crash. There’s no doubt this was one of, if not the worst [ghost] estates in the country,’’ Mr Moynihan said.
He said it had been a long road to get the issue resolved. I got involved in the residents’ campaign after election to the county council. This involved several meetings with Lismire Development Association and officials from Cork County Council.
All houses, with the exception of eight, will be levelled.
Work will also have to be completed on some unfinished sections of road and footpaths in the estate which was built 12 years ago.
Residents have said there is also a problem with the sewerage system.
The bondholder has agreed a plan with the council to level all outstanding unfinished houses and return the land to grassland.
“I welcome this great news for Lismire. I am in ongoing discussions with the council to get the best possible deal for locals,” Mr Moynihan said.
Many councillors have complained it’s hard to draw down bonds from financial institutions to fix similar estates. Mr Lucey indicated last May that the council would take a tougher line on bondholders and indicated that legal proceedings would be take against a number of them in relation to other unfinished estates in the county.
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