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Planning the future of unfinished estates

  • 28-02-2011 11:21pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2 thefalk89


    Fine Gael have asked a report to be compiled on the ghost estate pandemic that has swept across the country. Longford for say is a prime example of the mess created by these unruly developments, with 0.5 ghost estates per 1000 head of population. Has your area been affected by said? We want to gather public opinion on how planning can address the issues in the aforementioned estates.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭ pg633


    Consolidate and finish where possible and then bulldoze what is left.

    Though this could cause problems with the developers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    pg633 wrote: »
    Consolidate and finish where possible and then bulldoze what is left.

    Though this could cause problems with the developers.

    And with the few people who own and live there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,511 ✭✭✭✭ FreudianSlippers


    Finish them and turn them into social housing?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    Finish them and turn them into social housing?

    Maybe they're unsold because people don't want to buy them because they're unsuitable? Forcing people to live in an area where (almost) no-one would choose to live is a recipe for disaster in a few years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ Theasal1234


    Fascinating and horrifying but not as bad as I had feared in view of the total vacancy figures produced by other sources (census, NIRSA, UCD). a quick canculation reveals that 12.2 per cent of the complete and vacant dwellings are in the five counties which were subject to the Rural Renewal Scheme Section 23 incentives, which is very high considering the local population.I wonder is the relationship between Section 23 and ghost estates even stronger? Will the DoE make their detailed data available to researchers so we can find out?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,375 DoesNotCompute


    @OP

    Finish them, and sell them off in a fire sale. Might help revive the economy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    @OP

    Finish them, and sell them off in a fire sale. Might help revive the economy.

    But what if the cost of finishing them is less than what they are likely to get in a firesale?


    It's not an easy question to answer/


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    markpb wrote: »
    And with the few people who own and live there.

    Swapsie them in to a closer to finished one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    MYOB wrote: »
    Swapsie them in to a closer to finished one.

    Not sure if you are being serious or not but I actually think that is the best (only?) solution. It would require another NAMA though - I know, I know but just hear me out.

    There are three ghost estates in <insert town here>.

    Estate A - planning for 60 houses, 28 occupied, the rest in varying states of completeness
    ,
    Estate B - planning for 40 houses, 18 occupied
    ,
    Estate C - planning for 20 houses, 6 occupied


    A new state agency, call it NEMA (National Estates Management Agency;)) takes over the developers loans for the site and mortgages of people already living on the estates. The banks receive bonds in return for the loan and mortgages (same as NAMA did), the developer gets off with the loan but loses the assets (and any potenial income), and the mortgage holders continue to pay their mortgage.

    As Estate A is the closest to being finished NEMA pays to have it completed. The people living in Estates B & C move into houses in Estate A and their mortgages are moved to the house on Estate A (swap one 3 bed semi d for another). NEMA owns the original house, the new house and the mortgage so it shouldnt be too difficult. Estate A now has 52 houses occupied out of 60, the remaining 8 can be sold to recoup money or given over for social housing (or combination of both).

    The house owner continues to pay their mortgage, now to NEMA, not the bank. The mortgage holder benefits because they now live in an estate that has roads, street lighting, sewerage, etc. completed, they have neighbours, and the new house will have a resale value (unlike their original house which is surrounded by unfinished houses). NEMA recoups some of its money by collecting the mortgage repayments.

    NEMA owns Estates B & C, which are now empty. The houses here would most likely be knocked because there is no demand for them and their existance in creating an over supply of houses, killing the market. The land could be given over to the local authority and used for schools/community centre/public park/sports ground/etc. There is no monetary value to this but it benefits society in general. Alternatively the land could be sold to recoup some of the costs, or simply retained by the state for future use. What they do with the land is decided on a site by site basis, ie. keep it if there is some use for it otherwise just sell it off.

    The benefits of this are;
    1. Gets rid of ghost estates (some completed, most demolished)
    2. Helps housing market return to normal by getting rid of over-supply
    3. People living in ghost estates get a house in a completed estate and are not left to spend the next 35 years paying for something which is practically worthless
    4. Helps recapitalise the banks because it takes non-rreforming developers loans off their books
    5. Yes it is giving money to the banks, but we are doing that anyway, at least this way we (government) gets something in return
    6. Unlike NAMA, there is no business plan with the developer, he does not get paid by NEMA or make a profit
    7. The state acquires lands which it use to benefit the community


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I was being serious. I've seen enough of the country with towns where if you combined all the ghost estates - and specifically chose the ones nearest whatever services the town has - you'd have done the place a massive service.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 72,826 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    Finish them where possible and put them under the control of Bord Failte to market as holiday homes for the next ten years and then sell them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,914 danbohan


    Finish them where possible and put them under the control of Bord Failte to market as holiday homes for the next ten years and then sell them.

    u seen them ?. 80% of them are in god awful places what makes you think tourists will want go there ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,972 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    The hard part is forcing people who are paying dutifully for their homes to move to another house.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    NAMA should be looking to offload any raw materials and fittings that can economically be pulled out of the uncompleted and empty houses. The UK in particular has a severe shortage of houses in the London and Southeast, and the UK building industry would presumably be interested in getting their hands on knock-down materials.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 343 ✭✭ Mahogany


    This would and should represent a perfect chance to decrease that distressing social housing list, but alas, on these times we live in where it's every man for himself/people who have worked hardest deserve the best quality of life etc., this won't happen.

    Don't knock them down, we'll need them.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Pete is right but you will probably find the politically connected own the less desirable estates that should be knocked and that sensible builders own the better ones that should be filled :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    Mahogany wrote: »
    This would and should represent a perfect chance to decrease that distressing social housing list, but alas, on these times we live in where it's every man for himself/people who have worked hardest deserve the best quality of life etc., this won't happen.

    Don't knock them down, we'll need them.

    It's not as simple as that.

    There may be some scope for turning them into social housing, but not on a mass scale. If the state starts giving everyone who defaults a free house, where is the incentive to keep paying your mortgage? We need to keep as many people as possible in their own homes.

    people who have worked hardest deserve the best quality of life

    I'm interested to know what part of this you don't agree with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    One remarkable unpopular idea I had was to turn them into accomodation for sweatshops.

    Give anyone in the developing world who wants to live here accomodation in a house once they have been offered a job in the locality.
    Allow these people in developing countries a visa to work here if the job is in a new business. Do not apply minimum wage restrictions on these jobs.

    The premise of the argument is
    1. Immigration to countries like Ireland with a higher GDP per capita is the best way to help the people in developing countries.
    2. If someone accepts conditions (even ones we would find unpleasant) they must offer better alternative than staying where they are

    My argument is essentially that workign for 10 thousand euro a year in Leitrim stitching shoes would be preferable to living on a golf cours in Haiti on under $700 per annum. I would rather people did not have to live on a golf course in Haiti but nothing seems to be being done about that issue. There are no such shoe factories currently in Leitrim but there are also not a supply of people who will work for 10k yet either.
    Probably some loss in wages of unskilled Irish workers would result and, these would be under 10%, they should not be ignored.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 343 ✭✭ Mahogany


    oharach wrote: »

    I'm interested to know what part of this you don't agree with.
    I believe every person deserves to live a good quality of life, and that wealth created should be shared, but don't get me started on political discussion haha.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 343 ✭✭ Mahogany


    oharach wrote: »
    It's not as simple as that.

    There may be some scope for turning them into social housing, but not on a mass scale. If the state starts giving everyone who defaults a free house, where is the incentive to keep paying your mortgage? We need to keep as many people as possible in their own homes.

    House the homeless maybe?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,511 ✭✭✭✭ FreudianSlippers


    Mahogany wrote: »
    House the homeless maybe?
    The danger there being that they become slums or drug dens and devalue the surrounding area even more.

    House the homeless that are recently homeless, or families losing their homes etc. But I don't think you can just throw Joe Soap off the street in a house and expect the best.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 thefalk89


    I take on board what people are saying but can resolving these problems be left to local authorities or have they shown themselves to be incompetent? Should the responsibility now be taken out of their hands?


  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭ Highly Salami


    House refugees from the Middle East?


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,030 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Mahogany wrote: »
    This would and should represent a perfect chance to decrease that distressing social housing list, but alas, on these times we live in where it's every man for himself/people who have worked hardest deserve the best quality of life etc., this won't happen.

    Don't knock them down, we'll need them.

    Putting people in possibly deprived situations in to social housing which is badly served, often relatively far outside towns and villages with poor services themselves is a recipe for disaster.

    There are enough examples of this having been tried before in Ireland. It doesn't work - it will never work.


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