Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Defective Building Materials
My Department received a submission from Clare County Council, dated 23 July 2021, requesting the extension of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant scheme to County Clare. A response issued to the Council on 3 August 2021 indicating that my Department would review the submission and it also sought a detailed breakdown of costs associated with the Report. A breakdown of costs associated with the Report was received on 28 September 2021.
In order to progress matters a meeting was held on 9 November 2021 between officials from my Department and Clare County Council to review issues which required further elaboration in order to evidentially support an extension of the defective concrete blocks grant scheme to County Clare. My Department subsequently wrote to Clare County Council on the 6 December, 2021 outlining formally the nature of the clarifications required. Clare County Council undertook to review their submission and address the gaps in evidential data which had been identified by my Department.
My Department received a response with some clarifications from Clare County Council, dated 20 December 2021. It is accepted by Clare County Council in their correspondence of the 20 December that the causative link to actual damage arising from pyrite induced expansion has not been conclusively established in respect of the 5 homes tested to date.
On the 7 February 2022 officials from my Department met with officials from Clare County Council to progress matters. It was confirmed by Clare County Council that samples from five other properties are now being tested in accordance with the I.S. 465 protocol. If evidence of pyrite induced expansion is evident within the blockwork samples taken from these homes and the necessary causative link to the damage within the homes is established, my Department should be in a position to recommend to Government that an extension of the scheme to Clare would be legislated for.
The extension of the scheme to other local authority areas was considered as part of wider deliberations on the Scheme by Government. I, as Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, may, with Government approval, extend the scheme beyond the counties of Donegal and Mayo to additional counties, where the evidence supports such an extension.