The Argus - - NEWS - By OLIVIA RYAN

CRIT­I­CISM has emerged over the han­dling of an an­nounce­ment about the Ard Deal­gan apart­ment com­plex.

It emerged last week that 68 units at the Quay Street com­plex will be made avail­able to Louth County Coun­cil in as­so­ci­a­tion with Tuath Hous­ing un­der a long term agree­ment.

An­nounce­ments were made by Louth TD’s in­clud­ing Peter Fitz­patrick, and Fer­gus O’Dowd.

But Sinn Féin Coun­cil­lor Anne Camp­bell said she was ‘dis­ap­pointed’ that an up­date on devel­op­ments at the com­plex was not made avail­able to coun­cil­lors who have been cam­paign­ing on the is­sue for a num­ber of years.

‘I wel­come the up­date on the Ard Deal­gan Com­plex on Quay Street in town, but I am dis­ap­pointed it didn’t come from Louth County Coun­cil.’

Speak­ing yes­ter­day (Mon­day) the Coun­cil­lor said ‘At the Oc­to­ber Mu­nic­i­pal District meet­ing in Dun­dalk I asked of­fi­cials for an up­date on the com­plex and specif­i­cally about a fea­si­bil­ity study that was tak­ing place.’

She added: ‘My pre­de­ces­sor Cllr Jen­nifer Green and Sinn Féin have been on this is­sue now for a num­ber of years.

‘I was in­formed that a fuller ex­pla­na­tion would not be forth­com­ing and ‘con­fi­den­tial­ity’ was cited as the rea­son.’

Cllr Camp­bell was crit­i­cal of the fact that an up­date ‘and a fuller ex­pla­na­tion was then made avail­able to Gov­ern­ment TDs last week.’ She added: ‘I do hope that work com­mences very soon on Ard Deal­gan and we can see an end to this night­mare once and for all. It will be good to see them turned into proper homes for those who need them most.’

Dun­dalk TD Peter Fitz­patrick re­leased de­tails of the plans to make units at the Ard Deal­gan com­plex avail­able for so­cial hous­ing.

The range of units which are cur­rently be­ing pre­pared for so­cial hous­ing use un­der Tuath in­clude: ten 1 bed apart­ments, 46 two bed apart­ments, seven 3-bed apart­ments, three 2 -bed du­plex units, and two 4- bed du­plex units.

Deputy Fitz­patrick fur­ther re­vealed that com­ple­tion time is es­ti­mated at around 18 months, which means that it should be ready for oc­cu­pa­tion in the sec­ond quar­ter - or early sum­mer- of 2019.

He added: ‘ On com­ple­tion it has been agreed that a live-in care­taker will pro­vide an on­site pres­ence in the de­vel­op­ment. This is great news for so­cial hous­ing ten­ants in Louth, and in­deed lo­cals of this area who have been con­cerned with Anti So­cial be­hav­iour that comes with a derelict build­ing.’

The com­plex has had a che­quered his­tory since it was launched at the height of the prop­erty boom. Built by de­vel­oper Tom McFeely, it has re­mained un­oc­cu­pied since 2009 when ten­ants were forced to move out of their homes due to health and fire safety con­cerns.

It has been the fo­cus of anti so­cial be­hav­iour over the years as it re­mained un­oc­cu­pied. But Louth County Coun­cil con­firmed it was bought over by a Chi­nese con­sor­tium ear­lier this year.

Peter Fiz­patrick TD at the Ard Deaglan apart­ment com­plex.

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