Sybil Mulcahy together with the TV3 Morning Show team visit an unfinished estate in Kildare and speak to residents about the effects of living in a building site:
The residents of Coolaghknock, Kildare speak out against the developers and their local council, who have failed to provide safe areas for their children.
A creche, shop, doctors surgery and pharmacy they were promised more than five years ago have never materialised, despite construction starting. The end result is a building site that is unsecured and attracting domestic rubbish and antisocial behaviour. Beer cans and condom wrappers in the general vicinity where young children were playing served as a poignant reminder of how developers have failed their home buyers and how local authorities have failed to step in.
In this particular instance, the developers have shirked all responsibility and the estate is now within the control of Mazars, acting as Receivers. The council has agreed to take over the common areas when the snag list, which has now been supplied, is completed. It remains to be seen whether in fact the Receivers will be in a position to do this. By way of a short term solution, the residents have been promised that the site will be secured. This will be little comfort to the child who has already suffered a serious accident in the area.
One of the residents interviewed spoke of her inability to sell her home. I can only advise buyers to avoid such estates until we receive clarity as to whether local authorities will have the power and responsibility to take them over, perhaps through an amendment of the Derelict Sites Act 1990. The Receivers are unlikely to complete works where the residential properties have all been sold and just the commercial sites remain.
With the current levels of over-supply in the market, buyers do not need to buy into these types of estates and these types of problems – the market is difficult enough without putting yourself at such a disadvantage.
The general view is that, despite any plans or indeed planning permissions granted, buyers must take it that areas are sold as seen. Where further development or regeneration is touted, buyers are advised that it could be over the course of the next two property cycles i.e. 7 to 14 years – can you afford to wait that long for a creche or shop or most importantly, to sell your home?
If you are currently house-hunting and come up against any of these issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information and/or advices.