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Review of ghost estates finds over 2,000 unfinished developments in Ireland

The latests National Housing Survey involved inspections of 2,876 developments around the country.

File photo of a ghost estate in Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim.
File photo of a ghost estate in Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE LATEST National Housing Survey has found that although 701 developments have been completed over the past year, more than 2,000 remain unfinished.

Of the 2,876 developments inspected in the survey, 2,066 are still unfinished and almost 90 per cent of those were mainly inactive sites at the time of the inspection.

A total of 17,872 dwellings surveyed are listed as being at a further stage of completion, while about half of those are described as being nearly complete.

The survey found a 20 per cent reduction in houses listed as complete and vacant, in comparison with the 23,250 recorded as such last year.

Launching the report today, Minister for Housing and Planning Willie Penrose said that the survey shows a significant reduction in construction activity in 2011 since last year, with 43 per cent fewer active sites this year.

Penrose said that there is no magic wand to solve the problem and that although he has seen improvements in the level of engagement between developers, local authorities, residents, financial institutions and the department under the National Coordinating Committee, much remains to be done, and “the problem would be around for some years to come”.

Penrose also launched a guide for residents of unfinished estates and a Stakeholders Code of Practice to be applied by developers, financial institutions, NAMA, local authorities and residents for working together on resolving unfinished developments.

The guide for residents advises residents that “the developer or owner of a housing developer, or a receiver appointed by a financial institution” is responsible for it until it is taken over by a local authority or a private management company. It also encourages residents to set up a committee to help identify and prioritise issues at the estate.

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