THERE are 65 unfinished housing estates in County Louth, according to a new report compiled by the Department of the Environment.
Of those 65, a total of five are said to have been abandoned by the developer – many of them in the north end of the county, including Oyster Bay Court in Carlingford. Other abandoned estates are said to be located in the Omeath area.
While not all of the estates are in a bad state of repair, councillors highlighted the “serious issue” at the recent meeting of the County Council.
In some cases where structures are incomplete and are unlikely to be completed, there may be a need for demolition to take place in the interest of public safety. If that is required then the responsibility is likely to fall upon Louth County Council, who would have to foot the bill despite an already stretched budget.
The five abandoned estates are already being investigated by the council, who may have to take on more in the coming weeks and months if developers of other estates around the county cannot fuflil their obligations to finish estates to a suitable and required standard.
Director of Services Joe McGuinness confirmed at the monthly meeting of the council that the responsibility was on the council to make the five abandoned housing estates “safe.”
He said that “limited funding” would be made available by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan TD but he added that demolition would only be considered if “public safety was at stake.”
Mr McGuinness said there were four estates, in particular, with serious issues and said “demolition or part demolition” may be required in those cases.
He said the problem was “not as big as you might think” but admitted that it had “generated a huge amount of work for the authority.”
He said he would keep members advised of the situation in the weeks and months ahead.