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Government fails to protect residents from unscrupulous developers – Adams

7 October, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today challenged An Taoiseach Enda Kenny over the failure of the government to legislate to protect residents from unscrupulous property developers.

As well as raising the case of Longboat Quay, the Sinn Féin leader also raised his concerns about health and safety issues at two other significant housing developments – Prospect Hill in Dublin and Riverwalk Court complex in Ratoath.

Gerry Adams described the Taoiseach’s assertion that he was sure that other similar ‘traps exist’, as a result of Fianna Fáil planning regulations during the Celtic Tiger period, as “outrageous given the failure of this government to confront the actions of reckless developers and builders who played fast and loose with the lives of families. This government has had five years to legislate on this serious issue and has failed.”

Teachta Adams said:

“Nine hundred residents of Dublin's Longboat Quay have been instructed to cough up millions of euro for repairs to their homes because they were built without adequate fire safety measures. They have been told that unless they do so by 1st November, they face eviction.

“Meanwhile, families who were allocated a block of 62 apartments in Prospect Hill on Dublin's Finglas Road have been told by Dublin City Council that there are health and safety problems with these apartments. This apartment block is one of several on a larger site of over 500 occupied apartments which may have the same problems.

“There are similar concerns around the Riverwalk Court complex in Ratoath which is county Meath's version of Longboat Quay.

“All of these residents and others are victims of reckless developers who played fast and loose with the lives of families by building substandard, unsafe housing.

“This is the unacceptable face of the Celtic Tiger and of Fianna Fail’s light touch regulation. But it is not enough for the Taoiseach to engage in the blame game. We don’t need him to tell us what the problems are - we need him to tell residents his solution.

“Clearly, these are not isolated cases. Properties bought at considerable expense have been verified in report after report as substandard and dangerous.

“The appointment of an Independent Planning Regulator was one of the key recommendations of the Mahon report. The government has not acted on this. Today, Sinn Féin is publishing a Bill to establish an Independent Planning Regulator.

“Given that NAMA, local councils and the government have been aware for years of these health and safety issues there is no excuse for the government’s failure to legislate to protect and reassure residents that unscrupulous property developers, and not residents, will be held responsible for unsafe building work.” 

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