Ghost estates in single figures

by Emma Nolan

UNFINISHED housing projects in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown constituency have reduced considerably since 2012.
The improvement was highlighted in the fourth annual progress report of unfinished housing developments, published by Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction Paudie Coffey.
A national survey in 2012 identified 60 unfinished housing developments in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area; this figure has now been reduced to seven.
However, figures from the Department of the Environment show that there are still families living in almost 500 unfinished estates in Ireland.
A spokesperson from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council told The Gazette: “We are pleased to have contributed to the very significant progress made by all local authorities in attempting to resolve this issue.”
The seven unfinished housing developments in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area are Carrickmines Green and Carrickmines Manor on the Glenamuck Road, Grand Central, South Central (Rockbrook) in Sandyford, Aberdour on the Stillorgan Road, Sandyford’s Beacon South Quarter, Camberly Demesne on the Churchtown Road, and Goldiwill on the Church Road in Killiney.
While they were unable to comment on the current status of the unfinished developments, the council said: “We look forward to continuing that progress, in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, to finally resolve the issue.”
The report also revealed that nationwide there was a “75% drop in the unfinished developments since 2010, from nearly 3,000 to 668, and 324 developments resolved in 2015 alone”.
Speaking at the launch of the report on December 16, Minister Coffey outlined some of the key findings of this year’s survey. He also said that the visible reactivation of sites is now evident throughout the country.
The report also includes the results from the 2015 National Housing Development Survey, which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010.
It found that, of the 668 unfinished developments identified in the 2015 survey, Minister Coffey indicated that his objective is to resolve as many more developments as possible, with a particular focus on the 492 of these developments with residents.
The department also intends to engage with the relevant local authorities and stakeholders to explore options on the future viability of unoccupied unfinished developments where it would appear that there is little potential of them being reactivated and becoming economically viable.
Cllr Neal Richmond (FG) said: “This is a huge achievement and follows on great work from the council, developers and other agencies.
“There still remain seven estates to be finished and taken in charge, and I hope these can be sorted as soon as possible, as it is of major concerns to the homeowners and residents affected.”
While Cllr Sorcha Nic Cormaic (SF) commended the work done by the council so far, she said: “Local authorities have had their funding cut repeatedly and have struggled to maintain existing housing under this government.
“Instead of providing supports to these councils where housing is needed, they have implemented a property tax on council houses, a levy on undeveloped council lands, and gutted Part V legislation, which will only encourage councils to sell off to private developers.”

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