After much debate in recent months on the levels of housing vacancies and ghost estates across the country it now seems that an official inspection to document the true scale of the issue is underway.

 Minister for State for Planning Ciaran Cuffe will tell planners at the Irish Planning Institute’s annual conference in Tullamore today that NAMA is to establish a committee to examine what should be done with “ghost” estate housing. A new initiative has also been set up within the Department of the Environment to document the condition of all housing estates across the country. According to Mr Cuffe this will include a detailed inventory of the overall number of housing developments, completed and occupied developments, units ready for sale, units near completion, units at specific earlier stages of construction, and units not started at all. It is hoped that this process will be completed by the end of the summer.

All going well, we will finally have a true picture of the level and state of the over-development throughout the country. This should then provide NAMA, the Department of the Environment, Local Authorities and all other interested housing bodies with an accurate evidence based platform from where a forward planning process can begin.

See today’s Irish Times for more.