More than 60 families who are on Louth County Council’s housing list will be accommodated in the Ard Dealgan complex in Dundalk, which will reopen as Halliday Mills next year.
Celtic Social Housing Development Co Ltd today signed a contract with Túath Housing to bring 68 units at the Dundalk development back into use. The complex, which is being refurbished by the development company, will be leased by Túath Housing for a 20-year period and will be available to applicants on Louth County Council’s social housing list.
Ard Dealgan, which was built by Tom McFeely’s Coalport Building Company, has been vacant since it was the subject of a Fire Closure Notice in 2009. This followed an inspection which found that the manner of construction of the apartments was poor, with a general non-compliance of all regulatory matters. Louth County Council has spent more than €25,000 since then in physically securing the site, which has been the subject of vandalism, theft, fire and general anti-social behaviour. The Council had begun a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process when the site was sold out of receivership to Celtic Social Housing Development Co Ltd, which in turn approached the Council with an offer to refurbish the building for social housing. It will now be redeveloped into a 68-unit complex, comprising 10 one-bed, 46 two-bed and 7 three-bed apartments, as well as 3 two-bed and 2 four-bed duplexes.
Commenting, Director of Housing at Louth County Council, Joe McGuinness said: “Ard Dealgan has not only been an eyesore for many years, its health and safety issues meant that a building which had the potential to house more than 60 families lay idle. We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to bring this development back into use and we thank Celtic Social Housing Development Co Ltd for offering it for social housing. The complex will be refurbished to a high standard and the developer has already started health and safety compliance measures. The 68 units will provide safe and comfortable accommodation for a range of individuals and families in Louth when they come on stream next year.
“This is just one of a number of initiatives that Louth County Council is undertaking as part of the Rebuilding Ireland programme to increase the level of social housing across the county. We have increased the number of social housing units in the county by 170 in the last three years. We are continuing this work in 2018, with a plan for an additional 208 units by the end of the year.”
Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Joan Martin added: “Louth County Council is a pioneer in the Rebuilding Ireland programme. We were the first county in the country to introduce the Single Stage Departmental Approval Process – in Bothar Brugha, Drogheda - and we are a national leader in the compulsory purchase of derelict or abandoned properties. We have acquired 65 properties over the past three years through CPOs, already providing accommodation for 26 households under this mechanism.
“Louth County Council has a target of 208 additional social housing units in 2018 and we are working hard towards achieving that target, which we aim to do through a mixture of CPOs and CALF (Capital Advance Leasing Fund) partnerships with approved housing bodies.
“We very much welcome Celtic Social Housing Development Co Ltd’s approach regarding providing Ard Dealgan for social housing purposes and we are interested in hearing from other developers regarding similar arrangements.”
Túath Housing chief executive, Sean O’Connor said: “We are delighted to once again partner with Louth County Council on this social housing project, which was funded through CALF. Túath currently manages 175 homes in Louth and we have a development pipeline for approximately 350 homes in the county by the end of 2019. We also plan to open an office in Louth later this year.
“The name change from Ard Dealgan to Halliday Mills is in honour of Arthur Halliday, who employed more than 1,000 people in his shoe factory in the 1960s, which was located on this site. It also reflects the location’s original purpose as a mill. We look forward to bringing this development back to life, to welcoming the new tenants next year, and to creating a new chapter in the history of this site.”
It is expected that Halliday Mills will be ready for occupancy in mid-2019.