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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Meath apartment complex evacuated over fire safety concerns

The evacuation order must be complied with by 1 December.

Kentswood Court
Kentswood Court
Image: Google Streetview

Updated 12.51pm

THE FIRE SAFETY officer in Meath has ordered the evacuation of the top floor of an apartment block in Navan.

About 20 residents at Kentswood Court have been given until Sunday to vacate the premises, while another 10 who live on the ground floor have been told they can remain in situ as the problems relate to other areas of the building.

A local leasing firm, Royal Rentals, has told its tenants that alternative accommodation and storage space will be arranged for them.

But other residents, who are not linked to that company, may have to sort out their own housing while the situation is examined.

Meath County Council confirmed the building has never held a fire certificate. The apartments were built by Vicarage Green – now in receivership – during 2005 and 2006, when it applied for the certificate. The application was refused as it did not comply with requirements under the Building Regulations 1997.

The property is now owned by Bank of Ireland and managed by receivers Grant Thornton. The local authority believes the receiver intends to regularise the certification of fire safety. It requested a meeting with the fire authority, which carried out a full inspection.

A number of repairs are needed to ensure compliance, including the installation of a detection and alarm system, an adjustment of windows to comply with escape window rules and the fitting of a self-closing device for kitchen and dining room doors.

In a statement, Meath County Council said: “Legislation, including the Residential Tenancies  Act 2004, has been enacted to protect tenants’ rights.”

Grant Thornton described the move as the “only sensible and safe option”.

[Update]

The director of Vicarage Green Ltd has told TheJournal.ie that his company would be delighted to meet with the tenants of Kentwood Court to see what help they could provide.

Paul Da Costa said that his company carried out extensive works on the building which they took over in 2006, including an investment of €500,000 to finish the construction.

He said that the firm is still willing to enter into “meaningful dialogue” with both the bank and the receive “with a view to securing the long term future of the complex”.

“A great deal of our money is invested in Kentswood Court and we acquired it as a long term investment,we would like to help our tenants in anyway we can and we would be delighted to meet them at any time with or without the receiver to see what assistance we can afford them,” he concluded.

First published 10.01am

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