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.