Over €600,000 spent by council on one property – and it still hasn’t housed anyone!

By Maurice Garvey

SOUTH Dublin County Council hope to recoup over €600,000 spent on a vacant house in Clondalkin – which one local councillor has blasted as a “waste of taxpayers’money.”

The money was spent on construction costs, building a wall, and a CPO (compulsory purchase order) at a property in St Patrick’s Park.

st patricks park clondalkin 1 

The council encountered difficulties in the sale or letting of the house, due to a “disputed strip of land which forms part of the side garden to the property.”

The strip of land was a former public pathway over which remained registered in the ownership of the original developers of the estate.

Independent Councillor Francis Timmons asked the council to provide an update on the vacant house, at the recent Clondalkin ACM.

Upon hearing the council had spent a total of €608,000, Cllr Timmons said the property will not achieve “near what it cost on the open market.”

Cllr Timmons said: “We have a huge housing crisis and this house needs to be used to accommodate a family a.s.a.p. It’s a disgrace this situation has developed into a prolonged expensive situation.

“They have spent €608,000 on the house and it’s never even housed a family. This is taxpayers’ money being wasted, shocking stuff.”

In response to Cllr Timmons query, SDCC said: “A number of attempts were made to negotiate the acquisition of the strip of land from the registered owners by agreement, but these were not successful.”

Possession was formally taken on the strip of land by CPO in February, 2014

SDCC said: “The owners nominated an agent to enter into negotiations with the council on their behalf in relation to agreeing compensation as provided for in the CPO and discussions have been ongoing, but no agreement has been reached.

“It is now proposed to make a final offer of compensation to the owners and if not accepted within a reasonable time-frame, the council will proceed to initiate the procedure to have title to the land vested in itself. The future use of the property can be reviewed at this stage but in the event of the property being placed for sale, the title to the strip of land will need to be registered to the council prior to a sale of the property.”

Costs included the construction of a new 1.8m-high stone wall between Michael Collins Park and St Patrick’s Estates for approximately 130 metres, and the construction of a 600mm-high stone wall and railing between the two estates – proposed in 2006 to combat anti-social behaviour.

The final cost of the contract for the construction of house and wall was in the sum of €563,759.

Miscellaneous expenditure including fees relating to the CPO, brought the total expended by the council on this project to date to €608,387.80.

The council said they hope to be in a position to recoup some of the cost from the future sale/letting of the house.

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