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Tag Archives: Minister for Housing

TD confident of access for Clare to blocks redress

CLARE’S Fianna Fail TD has insisted that the Minister for Housing remains “committed in principle” to extending the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme to this county. Deputy Cathal Crowe also reaffirmed his belief that this will happen before Christmas. “I can’t see why the announcement can’t be made on the very same day the minister launches the updated grant scheme,” he said. “I’ve met and spoken by phone to Minister O’Brien a number of times since September and he’s confident there won’t be any delays.” Deputy Crowe’s comments come after further confirmation that the Department of Housing is to query the county council’s application to access the grant scheme. Last week, a written response was sent by the Department to Deputy Joe Carey. In recent days, Deputy Crowe received a formal reply from the housing minister, confirming that aspects of the council’s report on defective blocks in Clare are to be probed. The Fianna Fail TD was told by the …

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Crowe raises prospect of pyrite in public building

THE possibility that a major public building has defective concrete blocks has been raised in the Dáil by a local TD, who said that if this proves to be the case, it will put Clare “to the top of the list” in terms of government support. Deputy Cathal Crowe made an impassioned plea for Clare homeowners affected by pyrite and/mica to be given equal access to redress scheme and a Local Property Tax (LPT) exemption, currently only available in Donegal and Mayo. Addressing the Minister for Finance, he was sharply critical of the scope of the existing Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, which offers a maximum of 90% of remediation costs to homeowners in those two counties. “I am of the view that a major public building in a certain county has pyrite in it,” Deputy Crowe told the chamber. “Many people hope it does not. I hope it does for the simple reason it will advance the cause of …

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Parnell Street re-vamp works are to re-commence confirms council

WORKS on the regeneration of Ennis’ Parnell Street are to re-start, Clare County Council have confirmed. A statement issued by the local authority this Monday stated, “Further to discussions at departmental level, a review of critical transport infrastructure projects has been undertaken and it is now appropriate to re-commence the Parnell Street, Laneways and Bow-ways Public Enhancement Scheme.” Ennis Chamber had urged that the works go-ahead while the country remains under Level 5 lockdown, with concerns raised last week by Ennis Chamber vice president Darragh McAllister about the effects delaying the project would have on local business. Reacting to the announcement of the recommencement of the works, Ennis Chamber CEO Margaret O’Brien said, “Ennis Chamber is delighted that clarifications sought from Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, about re-starting public realm works in Ennis have been communicated to Clare County Council and that works will now re-commence.” On Thursday it was confirmed that Minister …

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Regeneration works on Parnell Street can resume

CLARE County Council can resume vital works on Parnell Street in Ennis despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, it has been confirmed. The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has stated that public realm works such as the Parnell Street regeneration can proceed under the current regulations. Clare County Clare had halted works on the regeneration of Ennis’ medieval lanes amid concerns that the project did not qualify as “essential works” under the current Covid guidelines. However, Deputy Joe Carey confirmed, “I spoke directly with Minister O’Brien regarding the need to progress the Parnell Street enhancement works. He advised me that a senior official from the Department of Local Government will make contact with the Chief Executive of Clare County Council advising them that Urban Regeneration works such as those currently stalled in Parnell Street are permitted under the current Covid restrictions and that the council should make arrangements to re-start the works as soon as possible.” Minister …

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New regulations for single houses

New regulations, which will come into effect from September 1, will ease regulations on building single dwelling houses and extensions. The Minister for Housing, Paudie Coffey has decided to remove the mandatory requirement for statutory certificates of compliance in respect of a new dwelling on a single unit development or a domestic extension. This will make it less burdensome for people in Clare and around the country to build or extend their home. Commenting on the development, Deputy Pat Breen said, “The problem which has arisen under the regulations under the previous regulations was that people who had built up many years of experience felt that they were excluded under the system and as a result the cost of inspections for the people looking to build had increased substantially. I had raised this matter on a number of occasions following concerns that inspections were costing up to €6,000 which was placing a considerable burden on people building their own homes …

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€400,000 vacant houses allocation for Clare

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan has allocated €15m to bring back into use 1,008 vacant local authority units. This is part of a year-long campaign driven by Minister O’Sullivan that will see €30m invested and nearly 2,000 vacant houses returned to beneficial use. €400,000 has been allocated to County Clare, which will be used for 20 “voids” approved for return to use. This works out at an average of €20,000 per unit. Work will be carried out in the coming months on homes in Ennis, Killaloe, Shannon, Clarecastle, Ruan, Moyasta, Kilrush, Cross and Whitegate. “I am determined to use every lever available to me to increase the number of social homes. One of the biggest scandals of recent years has been the high number of vacant, boarded up local authority homes. Today’s allocations will refurbish 1,008 of these units and transform them into family homes. It brings to €30m the amount invested in this important programme this year. This investment will see nearly 2,000 local …

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