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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020
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NAMA confirms plan to demolish derelict Longford apartment block

Will the demolition of 12 apartments outside Longford mark the start of a new nationwide programme of deconstruction?

The unoccupied Gleann Riada apartment block, pictured here in 2009, will be knocked this summer.
The unoccupied Gleann Riada apartment block, pictured here in 2009, will be knocked this summer.
Image: Google Maps

NAMA HAS INDICATED plans to demolish a derelict apartment block on the outskirts of Longford – the first time that it has planned to knock a project in order to maximise the value of its assets.

The agency has confirmed plans to demolish the Gleann Riada apartment block, located on the Strokestown Road in Ballyminion just outside Longford town.

The block of 12 apartments is part of an estate of 90 properties built in the middle of the last decade by Antrim-based developer Alastair Jackson, but none of the 12 was ever sold.

NAMA had appointed a property receiver, Lisneys, to a mortgage relating to the estate in March of this year.

NAMA said its priority was to make the unfinished estate safe for its current residents, and that in doing so it had made the joint decision with Longford County Council to demolish the block.

The demolition work is to begin shortly and will take about three weeks to complete. NAMA itself is financing the work.

A spokesperson for NAMA said the agency had involved with around a tenth of Ireland’s ‘ghost-estates’, and its priority in each case was to take whatever work was needed to ensure that each development was safe for residents who already lived there.

“Where it is uneconomic to finish out an estate or a part of an estate, or if the local authority deems it to be structurally unsafe, we will invest our resources in demolishing the relevant structure and ensure that it is made safe for other residents,” the spokesperson said.

NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh said this time last year that the agency could pursue a programme of bulldozing certain unfinished building developments in partnership with foreign banks like Ulster Bank and ACC, which were not subject to NAMA takeovers.

This was because undeveloped agricultural land was likely to be more valuable, and fetch a higher market price, than land containing an unwanted or unfinished housing development.

A government survey last year found around 10,000 individual uncompleted houses around the country, as well as over 23,000 homes which were completed but unoccupied.

Read: Banks may convert ghost estates to greenfield sites – NAMA chief

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Gavan Reilly

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