Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Defective Building Materials

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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263. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will confirm if County Sligo will be included in the mica/pyrite redress scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32138/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Following Government approval, I shortly intend to introduce  the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill, 2022 to the Oireachtas. 

The purpose of this Bill is to implement and give legislative underpinning to a series of measures to improve and enhance the defective concrete blocks grant scheme as agreed by Government on 30 November 2021.

My Department received a submission from Sligo County Council, dated 26 October, 2021 requesting the extension of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant scheme to County Sligo. In order to progress matters a meeting was held on 4 November 2021 between officials from my Department and Sligo County Council to review issues which require further elaboration in order to evidentially support an extension of the defective concrete blocks grant scheme to County Sligo.

Sligo County Council undertook to review their submission in light of the discussion which took place and address the gaps in evidential data which have been identified by my Department. In that regard, the relevant local authority are to continue to take the lead, build on the good work to date and demonstrate damage which has been documented has manifested due to the presence of reactive pyrite, which is a crucial burden of proof if the scheme is to be extended to include Sligo. 

My Department is eager to progress this matter and to that end, issued a correspondence to Sligo County Council on 8 March 2022 outlining formally the nature of clarifications sought. A follow up meeting in this regard was held with the local authority on the 24 March, 2022.  A further submission is awaited from Sligo County Council on the matter and my Department will deal promptly with any such submission.  

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 to additional counties, where the evidence supports such an extension and I have recently made such a recommendation to Government with respect to Clare and Limerick. 

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