Thursday, 29 June 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
29. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the main findings of the survey undertaken by his Department of the number of unfinished housing estates and the potential cost to local authorities of completing the estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18659/00]
Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): The question of the taking in charge of estates is essentially a matter for each individual local authority and my Department does not systematically collect such information. However, the Department did carry out an informal survey of local authorities in 1998 on the extent of the problems with unfinished estates and the factors contributing to such problems. Replies received from 77 of the 88 planning authorities revealed that 706 housing estates were then regarded as unfinished, which, along with a further 542 finished estates, had not been taken in charge. The size of the estates in question varied from two to 200 houses. My Department does not have available any estimate as to the potential cost to local authorities of taking all these estates in charge.
New requirements on planning authorities concerning the taking in charge of unfinished estates are provided in the Planning and Development Bill, 1999. The Bill provides that where an estate has been completed to the satisfaction of a local authority, the authority must take an estate in charge when the developer or a majority of the residents request that the authority do so. Where an estate is unfinished, the seven year period for taking enforcement action has expired, and a majority of the residents so request, the planning authority will also be obliged to take the estate in charge.
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