The prospects of long-awaited breakthrough in the Killaloe ghost estate dispute increased significantly this week following a meeting between Clare County Council representatives and agents of the new prospective buyers.
The council has confirmed that issues relating to the €494,000 bond were discussed in an effort to try and resolve the stumbling block preventing the completion of services at Ard na Deirge.
Michele Burke and William Buck, John Ryan senior and John Ryan junior of Castleconnell have been locked out of their homes at Ard na Deirge for over six years.
The Clare Champion has learned that the agreed sale of Ard na Deirge, Killaloe, which was due to be completed on Tuesday, wasn’t finalised amid claims of some outstanding legal difficulties over title and site boundaries.
The initial planning permission for Ard na Deirge was granted in 2004. It was being developed by John Gallagher until he experienced serious financial difficulties, which resulted in the site being taken over by AIB, who appointed KPMG as its receiver.
The bank lodged another planning application to extend time for the completion of 27 houses in the estate, excluding those of Michele Burke and William Buck, John Ryan Senior and John Ryan Junior, who can’t access their home..
Clare County Council met with representatives of the prospective purchasers- Hutch Hollywood Consulting Engineers, Patrickswell, Limerick and Brian Whelan. It was confirmed that no sale had been completed in relation to this site.
The meeting reviewed a number of possible scenarios in the event of the parties involved proceeding with the purchase. These included consideration of the status of the bond currently held by the Council in relation to the development.
It was agreed that an important first step was to accurately assess the costs arising in completing services to the developed portion of the site. It was also agreed that the parties would further consider the steps necessary to secure completion of services to the development in the event of the purchase proceeding and what arrangements could be put in place to the satisfaction of all parties to achieve this objective.
The parties agreed to meet as necessary to progress issues. The council accepts that the transaction regarding the transfer of this site is entirely a matter for the receiver/AIB and the prospective purchasers.
However, the council will continue to deal with all parties who may have a role to play in resolving issues that exist particularly for the three householders that have purchased homes on this development.
The council has received from the receiver a copy of the costed QS report on the outstanding works required for the completion of the services on the site and have arranged a meeting with the receivers in Dublin on April 23.
Contact has also been made with the bondholder Euler Hermes in relation to the development bond and documentation has issued from the Council in this regard.
Councillor Michael Begley said he understood the sale was not completed on the closing date due to some issues concerning the title and site boundaries.
He pointed out the completion of the services was a complex matter because the three houses were not side by side and a large amount of work had to be done before the three householders could occupy their houses.
Mr Whelan has confirmed that a number of issues relating to the estate including the bond was discussed during what he described was a very positive meeting.
If all interested parties work together in partnership, he feels they should be in a position to provide a resolution to the issues affecting the three householders.
He believes the bond that is in place could be called in to complete the necessary services to allow the householders to occupy their dwellings.
Efforts to contact Hutch Hollywood for a statement proved unsuccessful on Wednesday.