herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Firetrap families are refusing to move out

DISPUTE: Crampton residents in demands to city council

FAMILIES in one of Dublin's most dangerous apartment complexes have refused to leave unless the city council agrees to a number of their demands.

The Herald revealed last month that council management had ordered the evacuation of Crampton Buildings in Temple Bar due to serious fire safety concerns.

An independent architect's report highlighted a number of defects and warned that residents would not be able to escape if a kitchen fire broke out in some apartments. The 19th century flats, many of them dilapidated, are not protected by fire certificates.

However, despite a series of meetings with council management, residents have yet to agree to a move.

The council offered temporary accommodation nearby while renovation is carried out.

Housing agency Threshold has now become involved in negotiations on behalf of the residents.

In a letter to the council, seen by the Herald, the agency warned that residents had a number of concerns about the evacuation. "Will Dublin City Council provide a legal guarantee assuring the tenants of their re-instatement in their homes in Crampton Buildings as soon as the work is completed?" the letter asks.



Storage

Threshold also told Dublin City Council that it wanted confirmation that funding was available to ensure the work is carried out within two years.

And it accused council management of failing "to engage in a consultation process with the tenants". In response to the letter, Dublin City Council executive manager Peter Ayton rejected claims that there has been no consultation.

And he said that the works could not be carried out on a "phased basis", as argued by some residents, due to the large scale renovations being planned.

"Because of the extent of works proposed, the very restricted nature of Crampton Buildings, the very limited space available for construction related facilities (compound, material storage etc), we have been advised by the architectural team that it is simply not feasible to carry out the works on a phased basis.

He added: "It should also be noted that even if the above issues could be overcome (which they cannot), a phased basis as suggested, would result in significantly increased costs and a longer construction period."

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn warned that the residents were living in a "firetrap" during the serious fire defects exposed in the architects' report.

hnews@herald.ie

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