THERE is good news for residents of Drominbeg in Rhebogue after Limerick City Council confirmed it would complete the works and take control of it.
The Council has called in the bond on the Drominbeg estate, and received the cash to ‘take it in charge’ which means residents will be able to contact City Hall if there are problems, rather than the developer.
Permission is in place for 209 units. So far, 185 of these are built and occupied.
At a meeting ot the economic strategic policy committee, senior planner Kieran Reeves confirmed work would move on the estate.
He also confirmed the local authority is working with the receivers of Waler Close, Shelbourne House, on the North Circular Road, and Allendale Square, off the South Circular Road, all of which are unfinished.
The council is working with the receivers of Allendale Square, developed by troubled firm McInerney Homes.
At present, 70 units out of 83 are completed, and Mr Reeves said the receiver is to secure the “unfinished elements” of the estate.
The other two estates are “substantially complete”, but with a number of health and safety issues like connections to the sewer systems and flooding.
The Health and Safety Authority has been engaged on this.
Responding to the news, Fine Gael’s northside councillor Michael Hourigan asked if the contributions the developers had paid through the years could be used to help complete the estates.
But he was told this was not possible, because by law, this money has to be used for public projects.
Southside councillor Jim Long urged the council to make a move on all the city’s unfinished estates ahead of the 2014 merger.
“In 2014, we are going to be a joint authority, and we will have more ghost estates. We should lead by example and take out the ones in the city centre,” he said.
Committee chairman Diarmuid Scully pointed out that there are lots of unfinished estates in the county’s Adare electoral area, some of which lies on the periphery of the city.
“It is very important for the city these issues are solved,” he said.
Labour councillor Joe Leddin complained about landlords who allegedly allow properties to fall into ruin.
He added the Hyde Road flats are “a shame on us all” - and warned the council could be taking a huge risk leaving them as they are.
“We should never have agreed to get people out of there unless we had a plan. There is a health and safety issue here too. If anyone gets into these houses, and something happens, we are going to have a case on our hands,” he explained.
Later in the debate, Cllr Leddin asked if the Waller’s Well estate could be developed with public money, as the estate is close to the regeneration project on the southside.
Cllr Hourigan added: “Waller’s Well has been left alone for too long, and it is unfair. There are ten perfectly good houses there, but if we leave them for any longer, they might as well be knocked.”
Mr Reeves said Waller’s Well is for sale.
He added the Hyde Road area will be tackled in the new economic blueprint due out before Christmas.