Any sign of a Commencement Notice for Priory Hall?

by Bregs Blog admin team

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The following opinion piece was posted by BReg Blog Admin. Team on August 26th 2014.

Any sign of a Commencement Notice for the material alterations?

Work on fixing the Priory Hall apartment development looks like it started this summer. The CIF and others have been very active on Twitter trying to find out whether work has started or not, but Dublin City Council has not responded publicly on this. However by the looks of the site work (certainly enabling work) may have commenced. Is there any sign of a commencement notice?

In our previous post “How to complete ghost estates + Priory Hall?:BC(A)R SI.9” we looked at the difficulties confronting local authorities in finishing ‘ghost estates’ and also defective housing like Priory Hall under the new building regulations.

Quote from post: “We will follow the progress of Priory Hall with interest in the weeks ahead to see if the Local Authority tasked with remedial works apply BC(A)R S1.9 in full, or will they seek an exemption… We wonder if any local authority employees are prepared to accept the onerous legal implications of the regulation as noted in the Code of Practice and act as certifiers, or will they tender the professional services to external consultants on this one?

The issue remains of personal liability for certifiers in the private and public sector, so professionals employed in Local Authorities and Government agencies may well be very reluctant to take on certifier roles essentially guaranteeing part completed work on projects found to be defective, like Priory Hall. We noted an earlier warning on liability issued by the representative body for architects (RIAI)- see post “3 must-read posts for employees“.

Quote from RIAI bulletin: “Employees acting as Assigned Certifier and Design Certifier may be personally liable in the event that their employer no-longer exists after the demise of the practice. Employees are therefore advised to exercise extreme caution before taking on the roles of Assigned Certifier and Design Certifier.”

There are many questions to be answered about Priory Hall and other publicly funded remedial projects:

  • Has a non CIRI registered contractor been appointed to the project?
  • Has the contract for remedial work been publicly tendered?
  • Who are the Design and Assigned Certifiers (if any) on the project?
  • Will any professional be signing off on this work?
  • What comeback will there be for any future purchasers?
  • Most estate agents are of the view that even with a name change, apartments in this development may be very difficult to sell. Is it more likely that Dublin City Council will use it for accommodating social housing tenants?

It would be ironic if remedial works to Priory Hall were not completed fully under the new building control regulations.

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