Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ceisteanna (163, 164)

Michael Creed

Ceist:

163. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the criteria being used by his Department when determining which unfinished estates are to be demolished; the consent required by his Department from the various stakeholders including local authorities, financial institutions, tenants and property owners when considering demolition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15495/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Creed

Ceist:

164. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of unfinished estates that are to be demolished in 2014; the way these estates were selected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15496/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 163 and 164 together.

In Resolving Unfinished Housing Developments Annual Progress Report on Actions to Address Unfinished Housing Developments which was published in November 2013, and which is available on the website of the Housing Agency, http://www.housing.ie/Our-Services/Unfinished-Housing-Developments, it is apparent that there is a cohort of, mainly unoccupied, housing developments that do not appear to have long term prospects for resolution because they are in weak market areas, poorly configured and in a state of deterioration which the bond will not cover.

The National Co-ordination Committee on Unfinished Housing Developments, which I chair, established a Technical Group to oversee the development of a strategy for residual developments and, acknowledging that these sites are privately owned, to work with stakeholders who own and / or manage the sites.

Financial institutions have indicated that around 40 developments or parts of developments are currently likely to be returned to greenfield condition. However, this figure may vary over time as the financial institutions assess each loan on a case-by-case basis and decide an appropriate course of action. For client confidentiality reasons the locations of the developments considered at this stage most likely to be candidates for clearance cannot be disclosed.

Unless there are compelling reasons, primarily relating to public safety, the decision to clear all or part of an unfinished housing development is a matter for the owner/developer or funder acting in possession, usually acting through a receiver, and in the context of implementing a site resolution plan agreed with the l local a authority. Therefore, clearance is an intrinsic part of the asset management and disposal process by owners/developers/funders and will not normally require State intervention or funding.

The National Co-ordination Committee will continue to liaise with key stakeholders in monitoring progress in this area, including opportunities to address this cohort of developments through the normal resolution process where possible.