Priory Hall families may never return
THE Priory Hall apartments may no longer meet planning requirements, the Herald has learned.
Official government documents reveal the concerns surrounding the north Dublin fire trap go far beyond that of just fire safety.
Planning chiefs fear the complex no longer complies fully with planning permission or building regulations.
This means that even if the fire safety defects are repaired, it is highly unlikely the 261 displaced residents will return home in the foreseeable future.
The news indicates the scandal surrounding the complex is greater than originally thought.
Department of Environment documents also raise serious questions over the manner in which Dublin City Council allowed cowboy builder Tom McFeely to proceed in building the fire traps.
The documents reveal:
•The Government's concerns go beyond 'fire safety'.
•Priory Hall may no longer meet proper planning requirements or comply with building regulations.
•Dublin City Council granted fire certificates to McFeely's company before a single brick was laid.
•Despite imposing a number of conditions, council officials did not properly check the conditions were being met during or immediately after the homes were built.
The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, were provided to Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan upon taking office on December 20.
The files state: "In addition to the fire safety concerns, Dublin City Council has further concerns in relation to compliance with planning permission and compliance with the requirements of the building regulations."
Today's revelations throw any hopes the families will some day return to the place they once called 'home' into doubt.
Tom McFeely claims he cannot afford the costs to rectify the defects, while the residents are currently in a mediation process with Dublin City Council in a bid to find a solution.