herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

The €610k council house lying vacant for seven years

A detached house on 1a St Patricks Road in Clondalkin, the house has not been lived in since it was built
A detached house on 1a St Patricks Road in Clondalkin, the house has not been lived in since it was built

A HOUSE built as part of a €610,000 Council project has been branded a "shocking" waste after it has remained unsold and vacant since 2007.

South Dublin County Council built the four-bedroom house on an empty site in an effort to combat anti-social behaviour there.

It was intended to sell the property, on St Patrick's Road, Clondalkin, to cover some of the cost of the project. But the local authority have been unable to sell or rent out the house for more than seven years due to a dispute over the ownership of the site.

Now the Council have admitted it is "unlikely" to recoup the costs spent on the project even if it sells the house.

The situation has been slammed by Independent Cllr Francis Timmons.

"They have spent over €600,000 on the house and it's never even housed a family. This is taxpayers money being wasted, its shocking stuff," he said.

The project began in 2007 when the Council built a 1.8 metre wall between St Patrick's estate and Michael Collins Park in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour on the vacant site between the two areas.

It planned to recoup the cost of the wall by building the house and selling it, with the added benefit that the buyers would act as "additional passive supervision" for the area. The combined cost of building the wall and the house came to €563,759.

House sales in the area range from €205,000 to €360,000 in recent years meaning it is likely a considerable loss will be made if it is sold.

Ultimately, the council only secured ownership of the full site after a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was confirmed by An Bord Pleanala in 2013. Formal possession of the site was taken in February 2014. The Council said that "miscellaneous expenditure including fees relating to the CPO" brings the total cost of the project to €608,387.80.

"The process is ongoing to have the title to the strip of land vested in the Council," a spokeswoman said.

She added that it is hoped this "will be finalised in a matter of months" and that the Council will "review the future use of the house" then.

hnews@herald.ie

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