Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 5 September 2015

Irish taxpayers to foot bill for ‘ghost’ estates

Published 09/08/2010

The Irish taxpayer is facing the prospect of having to pay to make ‘ghost’ estates in the Republic safe because developers failed to pay bonds that would be used to complete the developments.

It’s thought that one-in-four unoccupied houses in ‘ghost' estates in the Republic pose safety risks because sewers were left open, water is contaminated and building sites are not secured.

A survey of 63 unfinished estates in Co Laois says that 30% of housing developments are vacant, some 2,800 units.

The survey is part of a trawl of unfinished housing units designed to find out what work is needed to complete them.

It was believed developer bonds lodged with local councils would finance an overhaul. But anecdotal evidence suggested a “maverick culture” existed where developers ignored preconditions.

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