LESS than a third of levies imposed on the owners of derelict sites in the city were actually collected by the city council last year, new figures have revealed.
A report from City Hall shows that just 30% of the Derelict Sites Levies were collected in 2019.
In total, €189,317 was collected from €629,700 levied by City Hall, from the 100 sites on the city’s register.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said the new 7% levy for derelict sites is “not scary enough” and needs to be increased substantially.
Mr McCarthy said for sites that have been lying idle over ten years, the levy should be more like 21%.
"What is happening on North Main Street is very disappointing. I walked past it the other day and I found it very disheartening and upsetting," he said of the derelict properties on the street.
“I’m satisfied the council is doing all they can, but we need a stronger legal hand.”
Mr McCarthy said Cork City Council has bent over backwards to do all they can for North Main Street but the local authority needs more powers to deal force the owners of properties into action.
“In an ideal world, North Main Street would be pedestrianised," Mr McCarthy said.
"When it was closed off it was put to great use with street parties but trade was reported to be down so it is a discussion that needs to be had."
The city Councillor said the old quarter of any city is usually pedestrianised. He noted that there are more than 100 registered derelict sites in Cork City, which have been identified as derelict and unsightly and whose landowners have been fined.
“It’s an absolute disgrace that some owners have left their buildings in such a state over decades.
" I have no problem with someone who genuinely cannot develop their premises for financial reasons but I have a huge problem with landowners with no sense of civic responsibility, who let their properties fall into disrepair and who create rotting concrete wildernesses."
Mr McCarthy said there would be a knock-on effect from any development in the North Main Street area and there are high hopes that the student accommodation that is being built on South Main Street would bring prosperity to the area.
“When the event centre is built it will bring footfall to the area and there will be a demand to pedestrianise the street and that needs to be discussed as well.”