WHILE the building industry stagnates with billions of euro worth of new homes lying unsold, house demolition has brought a small “destruction” boom to Limerick.
Up to 100 houses were flattened in run-down council estates during 2008 as part of the huge regeneration programme for Southill, Ballinacurra Weston, Moyross and St Mary’s Park. A further 140 are set to be demolished this year.
And the council estimates it costs in the region of €20,000 to knock a house and remove the rubble left on site.
While it is planned to build almost 4,800 houses as part of the regeneration, about 2,500 houses will be knocked.
The total demolition bill will come to a massive €50 million.
The chairman of Limerick City Council’s housing committee, Cllr Jim Long (FG) wants to reduce the cost of the demolition programme by salvaging fittings from houses before the wrecking ball strikes. He reckons salvaging interior fittings could save €3,000 per house.
Mr Long said: “What brought this to bear was watching the images on television of houses being torn down. I just thought ‘what a terrible waste’ and looked at what they had done in other regenerated housing estates in Scotland.”
He said some houses scheduled to be knocked were only 10 years old.
Mr Long said kitchen fittings, doors, roofs, radiators and light fittings could be salvaged and the money raised from the sale of these items reinvested in the new estates when they are built.