Council give go-ahead to demolition

In what’s believed to be the first instance of its kind for the county, bulldozers are to be sent into one of County Longford’s 128 unfinished housing estates, to knock an apartment block that was constructed in 2002/03.

In what’s believed to be the first instance of its kind for the county, bulldozers are to be sent into one of County Longford’s 128 unfinished housing estates, to knock an apartment block that was constructed in 2002/03.

County Council officials confirmed demolition work is expected to commence on an abandoned apartment block at the Gleann Riada housing estate over the next two weeks.

It’s understood preparatory work commenced earlier this week (Monday) as local authority bosses look to press ahead with improvement works under the Government’s Public Safety Initiative Programme.

So far, almost €800,000 has been spent by Longford County Council on 26 of the 29 estates identified under the scheme.

The Council’s Senior Executive Officer, Terry Rooney, was however keen to stress demolition works centred only on a selected portion of the estate following the appointment of a receiver - the apartment block towards the entrance to the estate.

The remainder of the site, including the estate’s remaining residential area, is not included in any list of works currently being planned.

“Longford County Council has served a notice under the Dangerous Structures Act on the site’s owners,” announced Mr Rooney on Monday evening.

The local authority representative said the move marked the end of a long and protracted process, as the council continues with its efforts in tackling Longford’s wider ghost estates problem.

In recent weeks, Longford County Council issued a health and safety notice on residents of Gleann Riada. This came after it was discovered that “there were major defects in the internal sewer systems of some dwellings and the quality of venting systems that had been provided for in some dwellings” resulting in the build up of dangerous levels of hydrogen sulphide in three homes, levels - which “exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended guideline levels for indoor air for 24 hours exposure”.

The move to press ahead with the demolition of the apartment block will no doubt come as welcome news to members of the Gleann Riada Residents’ Association who have spoken out in recent weeks about the difficulties with the apartment block, which has been heavily vandalised and become a haven for anti-social behaviour.