A block of luxury apartments abandoned by the developer to become a den for vandals and drug users, is to be boarded up and fenced off by NAMA.
Block 12 in Corrig Glen, Station Road Portarlington will have openings boarded up, steel fencing and drive-by security checks, paid for by the National Asset Management Agency.
A fence will be installed along the boundary to Lidl, to stop squatters using it as a “rat run”.
Due to start last Monday June 8, the work is the result of requests by Portarlington Cllr Aidan Mullins, on behalf of residents.
“It is not the final solution but should help deal with anti-social behavior and vandalism which has caused a lot of grief for the residents,” he said.
It is not the ideal solution for Corrig Glen residents, with two out of the 15 apartments in Block 12 still lived in.
Annette Arnold lives inon of the other blocks ,and wants all empty apartments boarded up to stop vandals moving on to another block.
“The next thing is they will think if they can get into the empty ones, they will try the ones that are occupied, so yes we are afraid, there are many women living on their own here, it is very concerning,” she said.
She wants apartments completed and lived in.
“Boarding them up will make them look worse to viewers, if they could just get money together and do up even some of the flats, it would be brilliant,” she said.
The empty apartments in Block 12 have been smashed open,many fittings smashed or stolen, walls smashed and copper wires and pipes ripped out, with black damp on the walls and drug paraphernalia and faeces on the ground.
A number of owners who bought apartments in the block before the property crash, abandoned them as the near empty block descended into squalor.
Only 15 percent of Corrig Glen estate is occupied, mostly by council tenants.
A half finished block was torn down several years ago by Laois County Council who installed some roads and lights.
The block is up for sale. Last March the developer Ciaran Linane told the Leinster Express that buyers were interested, and hoped “by summer the whole thing will be over and done”.
However NAMA state in their letter to Cllr Mullins on May 29 that “no offers have been received to date”.
“NAMA has agreed to fund the necessary health and safety works required in respect of Block 12, including the boarding up of all accessible opening, erecting pallisade fencing and the provision of regular drive bys,” says NAMA in the letter.
Cllr Mullins has requested that Laois County Council carry out a site inspection, with a view to putting the block on the Derelict Sites Register.
“I had motions in March, April and May. To me that’s just dragging their heels,” he said.
He believes the action by NAMA this week is as a result of that threat.