Demolition of Limerick flats may not begin for a year

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

IT could be up to a year before a block of flats in Rathbane are demolished, a council official has said.

IT could be up to a year before a block of flats in Rathbane are demolished, a council official has said.

Five flats in Sycamore Avenue, which have fallen into disrepair and have become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour have been earmarked for demolition.

But Shane O’Doherty of Limerick City Council’s housing department has said that the project may not be complete until late next year.

“The application for funding has yet to be made to the department. We will need permission, possibly in the form of a part eight to get rid of them,” he said.

‘Part eight’ is a section of the Planning and Development Act, in which the council effectively applies to itself for major public projects.

Mr O’Doherty said the aim is to get the work done as quickly as possible.

“But it will not happen in the short term. We might be talking up to 12 months before builders get on site, followed by a 12 month work period. We are looking at a two year project,” he explained.

Councillor Ger Fahy said residents are happy to see the flats, which he says are an “eyesore” finally demolished.

“They are backing onto a railway line, and people are crossing over the line to get around to the back of the house. They are taking drugs. This is why it was set on fire. The residents are very concerned that they are going to be targeted as well,” he said.

Local resident Michael McMahon, of Ellen Place, said he is “delighted” plans are in place to raze the flats to the ground.

“All the guys come back in, and the young children go over the walls. Residents are very worried that one of the children get seriously injured,” he said.

The flats formerly had steel shutters to prevent access, he said, but they have long been pulled away.

“People were using it as a drug den,” he added, saying this caused fires.

Michael said, mothers will be satisfied.

“Often children will climb the balls, and their mothers cannot get over the walls. They would be picking up needles among the rubbish,” he concluded.

Council will also demolish flats on the nearby Rathbane Road.