The Pyrite Remediation Board (PRB) held its first meeting on 21 February, 2013 (and is now operational). The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government announced the establishment of the PRB on 18 December 2012 to oversee and ensure the effective implementation of a remediation programme for pyrite damaged dwellings. The programme will provide for the carrying out of remediation work to eliminate pyritic damage.
The remediation works will be carried out without cost to the owners of the dwellings, and will be funded out of the proceeds of statutory levies on construction aggregates and certain insurance policies. The Heads of legislation necessary to provide for the levies are being prepared by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and are intended to be introduced in the Oireachtas by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in the current session.
The meeting was attended by the following members of the PRB:
- John O’Connor Chairman (formerly Chairperson of An Bord Pleanala);
- Sean Balfe (Director of Certification NSAI)
- Caroline Gill (Barrister, former Ombudsman Insurance/Financial Services)
- Paul Forde (Consulting Engineer)
Noel Carroll BE BCL, formerly a member of the Pyrite Panel, has been appointed General Manager of the PRB.
The Terms of Reference of the PRB, drawn up by the Minister were noted by the Board, copy attached. The PRB will work in close co-operation with a not-for-profit entity to be set up jointly by Construction Industry Federation, Irish Concrete Federation and HomeBond and which will be responsible for detailed implementation of the remediation programme on foot of applications from homeowners to the PRB.
The PRB has now commenced work on drawing up the precise scope of the scheme, eligibility criteria, procedures, priorities, etc
Initially, it is intended that the scheme can be funded by means of a loan facility, upon which there is agreement in principle by a number of financial institutions represented by the Irish Banking Federation. Loan funds drawn down would be repaid over time from the levy proceeds. It is intended that detailed negotiations with the prospective lenders on the terms and conditions of this facility will be concluded by the not-for-profit entity to be created by the construction sector stakeholders.
All expenditure of funds for the remediation scheme will be subject to authorisation by the PRB.
Minister Hogan commented:
“The work of the independent Pyrite Resolution Board will be extremely challenging and multi-faceted, however I have every confidence that the members have the necessary experience and competencies to bring a resolution to the pyrite problem for affected homeowners. I understand that as soon as the Board has finalised basic documentation and set up its website, that it will invite applications from eligible homeowners for inclusion in a remediation programme.