Longboat Quay saga due to be resolved in weeks

Dublin apartment complex is the subject of a dispute over fire-safety defects

Longboat Quay apartment complex in the Dublin docklands. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Longboat Quay apartment complex in the Dublin docklands. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

A resolution of the long-running saga of fire-safety defects at the Longboat Quay apartment complex appears to be in sight, following the abolition of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan said he expects to reach an agreement on repair works within the next fortnight with representatives of residents of the 299 apartments built in the south docklands in 2006 by developer Bernard McNamara.

Dublin Fire Brigade last October issued a fire safety notice ordering work, including the installation of a smoke ventilation system and fire-stopping materials.

The cost of repair works has been estimated at in excess of €3.5 million.

‘Put an offer’

His comments follow the formal dissolution this week of the authority by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and the transfer of its full powers to the council almost four years after plans to abolish the quango were announced.

The decision to abolish the development authority was announced in May 2012 after the Comptroller and Auditor General found serious shortcomings in relation to the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site in 2006.

The dissolution has been delayed several times since. However, the planning powers for the docklands were transferred to the city council in 2013.

The authority’s involvement in Longboat Quay arose from its ownership of the common areas in apartment blocks and its interest in 37 apartments bought under the affordable housing scheme.

Last November, Mr Keegan, who was also the chairman of the authority, made an offer to part-fund, in conjunction with receivers to Mr McNamara’s company Gendsong, the works needed.

This was, Mr Keegan said at the time , a “final offer”.

However it was rejected by the management company. Mr McNamara, subsequently offered to undertake the repairs at cost, and it is understood he may be involved in the final deal between the council and the residents.