The imminent demolition of houses in a ghost estate in Lismire is a major breakthrough for Cork County Council and two other estates are in line for a big revamp.

The council has been battling for years to force financial institutions pay out insurance bonds to finish off projects left by bankrupt developers.

And council estates manager John Ahern, who has been lauded by councillors for his dogged pursuit of bondholders, has also made significant progress at unfinished estates in Kanturk and Boherbue. Mr Ahern said he’d held a number of meeting with AIB officials and the receiver over releasing the bond for unfinished works at the Dun an Oir estate in Kanturk, where some unoccupied houses with serious cracks in their walls will have to be demolished.

He said AIB and the receiver had now agreed to funding “a site resolution plan” and would pay for the work to rectify a number of issues in the estate and also put in a pedestrian crossing at the nearby main road, that was part of the the original planning application.

Mr Ahern said a similar breakthrough seemed on the cards at The Beeches estate in Boherbue, where Bank of Ireland held the bond. He said he would shortly be assessing their site resolution plan which would involve Bank of Ireland paying to finish off roads, public lighting and sewers in the estate.

Details of the progress on unfinished estates were given by Mr Ahern at a meeting of the council’s Kanturk/Mallow municipal district.

Residents in Lismire praised Cllr Bernard Moynihan for pushing their case, and Mr Ahern for the work he put in to get a resolution.

“It’s very good news for them [residents] and it’s been a long time coming,” Mr Moynihan said.

Cllr Gerard Murphy (FG) said he wasn’t sure the public would understand the amount of work gone into getting financial institutions to release bond money.

“The Lismire estate was a complete disaster. The sewerage was backing up into the houses and the council stepped in and got it sorted, but some work is still required on the system,” Cllr Tim Collins (Ind) said.

However, there is still one small stumbling block left at Lios na Gréine.

Mr Ahern pointed out that Bank of Ireland owned one of the houses in the unfinished section (repossessed from a mortgage defaulter) and said he wasn’t able to get its agreement to demolish the dwelling. Locals maintained the house was unsafe, had been broken into and was the subject of an arson attack.

Mr Mullane said he couldn’t understand why Bank of Ireland wouldn’t agree to demolition. Mr Moynihan, who is chairman of the municipal council, said the authority would write to the bank’s chief executive demanding it be knocked.


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