Houses to be knocked in Portlaoise

A Portlaoise estate has been so badly hit by anti-social behaviour that eight derelict houses there face being demolished.

A Portlaoise estate has been so badly hit by anti-social behaviour that eight derelict houses there face being demolished.

Last week Laois County Council workmen were on site at Hepburn Court blocking up a number of the derelict properties, many of which have been burnt out and are beyond repair.

Portlaoise town manager, Mr Michael Rainey said that the council do not want to demolish the houses but they may have no choice.

Mr Rainey addressed last week’s town council and Joint Policing Committee meetings about the estate located off the Ballyfin Road.

“All the derelict houses are beyond repair. Four properties are to be secured (by the council) in the coming weeks, but we won’t be fixing them or making them habitable.”

None of the houses belong to Laois County Council and Mr Rainey said that the council have received little cooperation from the owners or lenders of the properties.

“The problem is that it’s a private estate of 12 properties. I have checked the land registry and all the properties are still registered to the owner, no repossessions had taken place the last time I checked. Laois County Council have no title rights in the estate and it is not taken in charge,” he said.

For more on Hepburn Court, see page 8.