Belmayne fire safety work not finished
Residents raise concerns over on-going risks 16 months after defects identified
Defects identified at Belmayne estate 16 months ago. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Work to fix fire safety problems in a north Dublin housing estate has yet to be completed, more than 16 months after the defects were identified.
More than 200 apartments in Belmayne off the Malahide Road were last year found to be in need of extensive repairs due to fire safety problems with the structure of the buildings.
An inspection by Dublin Fire Brigade’s chief fire officer revealed defects in the timber- framed construction of the houses which meant the buildings could not meet regulations.
The problems involved the fire-stopping features of the construction. A small gap where there should be a layer of plasterboard was left in the wall in the space above some of the apartment ceilings, which would allow smoke and fire to travel laterally in the building in the event of a fire.
The problems came to light in February of last year after a pipe burst in an unoccupied home. When parts of the ceiling were removed the absence of the plasterboard layer was discovered. Investigations of other properties indicated the problem was widespread and the fire brigade was contacted.
At the time Dublin City Council said the work – to be carried out by the estate’s developer Stanley Holdings – was due to be completed within three months. However, some affected residents have said the work has not been done and that fire safety problems remain throughout the estate.
One resident, Del Tillyer, said the defects in his home represent a danger not only to his home but to his neighbours.
“We have been advised that such potential for fire spread within and between the properties could happen in a matter of minutes.”
Mr Tillyer believes the defects, which were there when he bought the property, mean the sale was not legally concluded due to major breaches of contract.
A spokesman for the council said work had been carried out to all but 17 of the 232 apartments affected. Of those remaining, nine owners were refusing access, and work on the other eight is due to start shortly.
“Work has been carried out to the schedule agreed, there have been phased inspections and we are happy that the work has been conducted satisfactorily,” he said.
Some former Priory Hall residents, evacuated from their own homes nearby in 2011 due to fire safety issues, were housed in Belmayne. There were “minor works” needed to their homes in Belmayne, but these have been completed, the council spokesman said.