Thursday 22 October 2009

Residents want flats razed and rebuilt by Dublin City Council

RESIDENTS OF St Teresa’s Gardens have asked Dublin City Council to honour its commitment to demolish and rebuild the run-down 1950s flat complex.

The St Teresa’s Gardens Residents Association yesterday met the city council following the decision to abandon the public private partnership (PPP) regeneration of the complex.

Resident association representative Kris Taylor said the flats were in an advanced stage of decay. Rats run along the balconies and stairwells and through the flats, she said. The complex is infested with flies in the summer and the vermin problems are exacerbated by an inadequate sewage system.

“Raw sewage, needles and toilet paper comes up the pipes . . . It’s pushed into the baths and the showers.”

The flats were damp and the walls were mildewed, the kitchens were tiny and there was nowhere for families to sit and eat together, she said. There were also problems with crime, with residents subject to intimidation and violence, and cars regularly burnt.

“These are things that can’t be put right with precinct improvement. What is required is the demolition of the complex . . . We want financial resources to be made available and targets to be set.”

Labour councillor Michael Conaghan said it was clear there was an urgent need for regeneration. “The PPP process is dead but regeneration is not. Regeneration is within the competence of the city council, the PPP was beyond our control and beyond our competence.”

Fine Gael councillor Ruairí McGinley said the council had evaded its responsibility to maintain the complex because it was the subject of a planned regeneration, but he said the onus was on the Department of the Environment to produce funds.

The complex of 346 flats in 14 four-storey blocks was to have been demolished and replaced with 300 social and affordable units, 300 private apartments, retail and commercial units, and community buildings.

Despite the collapse last year of five similar regeneration schemes due to have been built by developer Bernard McNamara, three bidders remained in the running. However, during the year it became clear a PPP project was no longer viable, the council said, and the decision was taken to abandon the competition for the project.

Irish Times

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