The term ghost estates colloquially refers to the list of 2,000 unfinished housing developments compiled by the Department of the Environment. Dublin doesn’t do too badly in the 2011 rankings with 95 estates identified in the city council area, compared to 149 in neighbouring Fingal.
The other two Dublin councils also returned quite positive figures; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has 60 unfinished developments and South Dublin County Council 50. It’s clear the capital has escaped lightly when some of the numbers recorded in sparsely populated counties are considered. Sligo has 237 unfinished developments, Roscommon has 235.
Dublin also has a low number of estates considered the most problematic. These are the developments where residents’ living conditions are such that they are not required to pay the household charge, generally where the developer has abandoned the unfinished estate. Only 19 estates in the city council area are on this list.
Elm Park was on the department’s first survey conducted in 2010. However, while ghost estate seems an accurate description for the eerily empty complex, it has since fallen off the list. The apartments have been completed and more than 10 per cent – the threshold determined by the department for inclusion – are occupied.
Report - OLIVIA KELLY - Irish Times