Ghost estate 'monuments to skeleton of Celtic Tiger' to be bulldozed

The Minister for Finance said funding has been set aside to demolish ghost estates, with the taxpayer, rather than developers, likely to foot the bill.

Michael Noonan says the Environment Department will allocate money to bulldoze around 40 ghost estates identified by the Housing Minister.

"Some of these unfinished estates are in places where there's no demand for houses," he said.

"So there's no point in having half-built houses standing there as a monument to the skeleton of the Celtic tiger.

"In [the] interests of safety, they should be knocked."

Most of the estates are in the West and the Midlands, and the developers are unlikely to be able to pay for the demolition.

An expert in regional and spatial analysis, Professor Rob Kitchin of NUI Maynooth, earlier said the developers would likely not be able to pay the demolition bill, even if pressed.

"Obviously the developers are probably bust, which is one of the reasons why they've not finished [the estates]," he said.

"They have a lack of access to finance… they can't go to the bank looking for money to finish these off. It will probably be the State and the local authority that steps in and will pay for the cost of demolition."

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