Cllr Dermot Looney, a Labour Party representative on South Dublin County Council, has said that the publication of the National Housing Development Survey this week highlights over 5,000 ghost houses and apartments in the county. The report shows that, like most counties, South Dublin has a significant problem with ghost estates that are in limbo and only partially completed.
“The report on ghost estates,” noted Looney, “is an indictment of the developer-led planning that blighted the Celtic Tiger era. The greed of developers and their friends in Fianna Fáil was allowed to flourish at the expense of good planning, affordable housing and sustainable communities.”
“Ghost estates have been characterised as a particular problem in small rural towns and in the so-called ‘commuter belt.’ However, there are issues particular to our situation in South Dublin. Here, unlike in other counties, it is clear that many of these uncompleted developments involve apartments, which make up approximately half of the units in the study.”
“This report found that there were 49 ghost estates in South Dublin encompassing some 9,425 units. Within these estates there are 2,953 units where construction has not even started yet. An additional 760 are still under construction while there are 1286 units completed but vacant.”
“Of the 119 areas set aside for open space in these estates, 45 were uncompleted. These add up to severe difficulties for residents of nearly 4,500 homes which are occupied in the partially-completed estates.”
“As well as the myriad issues regarding issues of good standards of living, estate completion and the creation of sustainable communities, the South Dublin area has a particular problem with management companies in apartment and other multi-unit developments. In particular, developers retain a controlling interest in many management companies but may not be contributing their management fee. This can create great difficulty for residents in getting vital work done in their estates. The issue of management companies is another failure of ‘light touch’ regulation in Ireland and regrettably the new legislation on management companies is not retrospective.”
Summary of the report including SDCC statistics is available at http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Housing/FileDownLoad,24375,en.doc