ONE out of every six houses located in a Clare ‘ghost estate’ is vacant. According to new figures released by the Department of the Environment, Clare has one of the highest rates of vacant properties in unfinished, or so-called ghost, estates of anywhere in the  county.

In total, there are 346 vacant houses and 194 vacant apartments located in estates which have been classified as unfinished or ghost estates. These 540 vacant houses in unfinished estates equate to one out of every 80 houses in the county.

According to property website, there are currently 1,280 properties for sale in the Clare. With a total of 540 vacant houses and apartments located in areas classified by the Department of the Environment as unfinished, it is likely that a sizeable proportion of the properties for sale in Clare are located in these areas.

The results of the National Housing Development Survey also revealed that a large number of unfinished developments still exist in the county.

The Department of the Environment officially classifies 72 locations in Clare as unfinished estates. Many of these estates are fully serviced and largely complete and have high numbers of occupancy.

Indeed, only 23 of these 72 estates were exempted from paying the household charge this year because of being classified as unfinished.

A number of buildings in the 72 estates are virtually complete but, for one reason or another, the developer or receiver has been unable to bring the properties to completion.

According to the survey, 22 houses in the Aisling Estate in Ennis and 20 in Acha Bhille have been classified as “near completed” but have no construction work currently ongoing.

Road infrastructure was a particular problem on developments in the county, with more than 600 properties deemed to have a basic road base, with no completed surfacing work.

A total of 132 properties in the Moyard estate in Shanballa, Ennis, were deemed to have road access, while 97 on the Tulla Road, Roslevan and 72 properties in Cregaun Na Hilla in Clarecastle were classified as having unfinished roads.

Of the 72 estates identified in the National Housing Development Survey, construction work was ongoing on only four projects – the Cluainin and Tullyglass Lowlands developments in Shannon, as well as the Cois Tra and Cregg Beach development in  Lahinch. The survey also identified a number of Clare estates where lighting and completed footpaths were a major issue.

The names used to describe these estates are presented as identified by the Department of the Environment in the  National Housing Development Survey and may be known differently locally.

For more see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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