“The Labour Party is determined to tackle the issue of ghost estates if elected to government,” said Cllr John Kelly, the party’s candidate for Roscommon-South Leitrim, after a recent report revealed there are 37 ghost estates in counties Longford, Leitrim, and Roscommon now deemed to be a public safety hazard.
“The figures are quite shocking, but for anyone who has been living in such estates, the statistics draw no comfort. Indeed, the figures show that there are over 290 so-called developer-abandoned estates in this region,” he said.
A new report by the Advisory Group on Unfinished Housing Developments shows that estates in the Midlands and border region have the most pronounced problems.
“Ghost estates are a bitter reminder and relic of the planning failures of the past. They are a headache for residents of these estates, and for the wider community,” he continued.
“If elected to government, the Labour Party, as a matter of urgency, will bring forward a coherent plan to resolve the problems associated with ghost estates.
According to Cllr Kelly this plan will be developed in conjunction with NAMA and local authorities, and will include, where appropriate, the demolition or completion of part-built dwellings; the acquisition of properties by social landlords; or the sale of properties on the open market where this is possible, and where it is not, the disposal of dwellings by innovative means such as rent-to-buy and co-operative home ownership programmes.
Cllr Kelly said the figures for the region are not encouraging but the problem must be tackled head-on as a matter of urgency.
“Some 16 estates in Longford are now deemed a public safety hazard, the figure in Leitrim stands at 13 while in Roscommon eight developments are now recognised as dangerous,” he concluded.