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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 16 November, 2019
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Why we won't need to knock down as many ghost estates as we thought...

40 of the country’s worst ghost estates were targeted for destruction this time last year, but a rising economic tide means that number is coming down…

The diggers in action at the Shannon Valley estate in Roscommon last week. 20 units are being destroyed at the Ballaghaderreen development.
The diggers in action at the Shannon Valley estate in Roscommon last week. 20 units are being destroyed at the Ballaghaderreen development.
Image: Maura Hopkins

YOU MAY RECALL an announcement this time last year that the 40 worst ghost estates in the country were due to be leveled in 2014, as the Government resolved to deal decisively with the spectre of unfinished developments dotted around the country.

Under a plan from then-Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan, the projects were being examined on a case-by-case basis to see whether they should be destroyed.

In an update provided to TheJournal.ie, the Department of the Environment has confirmed that only 23 partially-built developments are being cleared.

Additionally, ten more developments that are still at foundation level — without any building above ground — are also being destroyed, or, as their statement puts it “returned to greenfield condition”.

The reduction in the initial figure is down to an improvement in economic conditions, according to the Department, “as the financial institutions assess each loan on a case by case basis and decide an appropriate course of action, including disposal of assets to a new investor or further investment to remediate or build out”.

A €10 million ‘special resolution fund’ was announced earlier this year to tackle the problem. It’s being spent on remediation or building works at 86 sites around the country.

Around two thirds of the SPF works should be finished by the end of this year.

Read: Ghost estates: The diggers arrive to tear down another ‘relic of the boom’

Read: Councils get ten million euro to spend on ghost estates

 

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