Council says it will sort out ‘legacy’ issues in Balgaddy housing estate

By Brendan Grehan

SOUTH Dublin County Council  has said it is committed to addressing ‘legacy’ maintenance issues at a housing estate in Balgaddy, Lucan.

Between 2004 and 2007, 448 homes were built in Balgaddy. Many residents in the scheme complained of mould and dampness in their homes.

balgaddy 1

Balgaddy, Lucan.

Aiden Lloyd from local community group, The Rights Platform, described the Balgaddy scheme as “a failed development”.

He told The Echo: “I welcome the news that SDCC are going to carry out remedial works. In my view I think the scheme needs to be cleared and rebuilt.”

In 2015, the residents of the scheme were one of 20 groups that took a collective complaint to the Council of Europe arguing that the social housing stock was below living standard.

In October 2017, the European Committee for Social Rights in Strasbourg upheld the complaint and found Ireland to be violating Article 16 of the European Social Charter concerning the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection.

The ruling stated the Government had “failed to take sufficient and timely measure to ensure the right to housing of an adequate standard for a not-insignificant number of families.”

Tenants from Balgaddy say serious structural problems have led to years of leaks, damp, mould and electrical problems.

In 2015, the local authority said there was no systemic construction problem at Balgaddy.

But South Dublin County Council has now said it is committed to addressing instances of legacy housing maintenance issues in some of the homes in Balgaddy.

In a statement, the council said an accelerated maintenance programme will, where necessary, provide window and door replacements, painting and various safety works.

The council is also providing for additional funding to address heating, ventilation and insulation issues, as well as other works.

A commitment has also been made that any exceptional maintenance issues will be examined on a case-by-case basis where tenants may be transferred while necessary upgrade works are prioritised. This process has begun.

The Council added that they plan to construct a new community facility, 69 new social homes, a park/play area and landscaping. They also plan to start a Community/Residents Support group, implement public realm enhancements and instigate good estate management measures.

They said : “Dedicated resources have been put in place supported by a tenant communications plan with the objective of delivering all the maintenance programmes by the end of 2020.”

Mr Lloyd welcomed the SDCC statement but described Balgaddy as “an awful development”.

He told The Echo: “It is good that they are going to carry out remedial works. I welcome the news.

“It is a pretty awful development. I think it would make more sense in the long run to regenerate the whole area.”

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