Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Cosy relationship between Government and developers to blame for unfinished housing estates

9 March, 2005

Speaking during Private Members Time in the Dáil this evening on Unfinished Housing Estates, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Arthur Morgan, blamed the 'cosy relationship' between the Government and 'greedy' property developers for the problems faced by many people in new housing estates that are unfinished by developers.

Deputy Morgan said, "The failure of the Government and local authorities to act on this issue is inextricably connected with the detrimental, cosy relationship that exists between the government parties and developers, which has resulted in an unwillingness to take on greedy and unscrupulous developers.

"Builders and developers regularly fail to complete work on common areas within housing development. The main problems centre around footpaths, road surfacing and road marketing, drainage, landscaping and builders rubble being left on site when builders depart.

"This is a particular problem effecting the commuter belt and the counties surrounding Dublin, such as Louth and Meath where new housing estates are being hastily built with little care for the quality of life of these who will end up living in these estates.

"A number of particularly bad cases in County Meath have been brought to my attention by Cllr. Joe Reilly, who after battling this at local authority level for some time asked me raise the issue in the Dáil.

"For example, Springfield Glen in Navan is a development of 45 houses. The developer is currently reported to be in New Zealand. Roads footpath and public lighting have all been left incomplete. The developer deposited a bond with the local authority of €38,000. Conservative estimates suggest that it will cost €200,000 to complete the housing scheme.

"There is a clear trend whereby the local authorities have not sought adequate bonds from developers. If adequate bonds were sought, the developers would have no incentive to walk because their bond would not be returned to them by local authority until the development has been completed in accordance with planning approval.

"This issue must be addressed. People cannot simply be abandoned in unfinished housing estates nor should cash strapped local authorities be forced to cover the cost of remedial works while greedy developers pocket huge profits on the back of the hardships faced by householders in these estates." ENDS

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