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Ghost estates: The diggers arrive to tear down another 'relic of the boom'

Another ghost is being banished, in Co Roscommon…

THE HEAVY EQUIPMENT moved in on Monday, and work is progressing throughout the week to destroy 20 houses at the unfinished Shannon Valley estate on the outskirts of Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon.

It follows a long campaign by residents and homeowners at the estate to have the buildings torn down.

Better street lighting and work to repair underground structures is also taking place in an effort to improve the environment for the the families currently living there.

€250,000 was allocated by Government under the new Special Resolution Fund for the works earlier this year.

Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins, who has been working with the residents, said there had been “major health and safety concerns” regarding the houses.

Photos: Maura Hopkins

Around eight homes elsewhere in the development are currently occupied. Most are rented out by their owners.

Built at the height of the Celtic Tiger property boom, Hopkins said the estate was one of many clear examples of estates being built “without any joined up thinking” in terms of amenities, facilities and employment opportunities for residents.

The Government announced an additional €10 million in funding to tackle the problem of unfinished housing estates, back in May.

A survey carried out in late 2013 found there were still 1,258 such developments remaining, 992 of which had residents in place.

Read: Minister for housing says ex-residents of Priory Hall are ‘in a dreadful situation’

Read: Forty ghost estates targeted for demolition

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