The placement of Block 12 in Corrig Glen in Portarlington on the Derelict Sites Register is to be investigated by county hall.
A motion from Councillor Aidan Mullins sought a notice of intention to place Block 12 on the register, at the recent Graiguecullen/Portarlington Municipal Authority meeting. A response from Carmel McNicholl from the planning department confirmed the site is currently not on the Derelict Sites Register, “however, an inspection will be carried out and notices will be issued under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, as appropriate”.
Cllr Mullins said the move might force the hand of Nama and the developer.
He said drug paraphernalia and excrement is visible when you visit the block. “It is definitely the worst estate in Laois,” he said.
He hoped a meeting could be organised for the residents, Nama and the developer as “communication is fractured”. He said they need to try to get a resolution for the residents, some of whom are council tenants. He said for some single ladies living there, “security is a big issue”. He said €120,000 has been spent on site resolution there but it looks as if roads weren’t finished. “There is no question in my mind that it’s a derelict site,” he said.
“It has to be moved on, it just can’t be left the way it is,” he said.
The matter will be inspected in the coming weeks, director of services Kieran Kehoe said. He added that they will engage with all parties involved, including Nama and the developer.
The council has done some “wonderful work” on completing unfinished housing estates, Cllr Tom Mulhall said. It was a shame to see the apartments being vandalised, he said. “I fully support this move. People have bought expensive apartments and they are paying a mortgage on a house or apartment that’s being pulled asunder. It’s terrible, all together,” Cllr Mulhall said.
“It will take a major effort to get those apartments liveable again,” he said.
The Corrig Glen estate of apartment blocks on Station Road was left unfinished by BGL Investments, run by Ciarán Linnan, in 2008, with only a small amount of them sold. He hopes to sell the estate to an owner who can finish it off.