City Hall has passed plans to get tougher on derelict site owners.
Under new policies devised by council officials, sites that are causing negative impacts for neighbours, sites in areas where housing need is identified, and those deemed to be of strategic importance and important to regeneration in targeted areas will be prioritised for placement on the Derelict Sites Register and for compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).
Cork City Council director of planning Fearghal Reidy said the council is looking to significantly increase the number of sites on its register and pursue CPOs more aggressively.
“Our track record [on dereliction] is very good,” he said. “We currently have 102 sites on our register and we have another 21 being considered.
“We have collected about a quarter of derelict sites levies [€140,000 as per July]. Considering the complexity of derelict sites, that’s quite an achievement.
“Sites will now be considered where they are derelict for two years, there is anti-social behaviour, and there is a housing need. We will now be stronger on CPOs.
“Funding raised from fines will be ringfenced for the programme of dereliction.”
There are an additional 83 files under active investigation by council officials.
In June, a partial building collapse took place at a property on North Main St with internal floors and rear walls coming down.
Hoarding was erected around the affected properties and the street was closed to through vehicular traffic for just under five weeks.
Mr Reidy remarked that there are commercial interests in the building that will progress in the coming weeks.
Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould held a protest outside the council chamber at last night’s full council meeting.
He believes derelict sites need to be secured and turned into housing.
He described plans to be discussed at this week’s city council budget meeting to spend €13.5m on homelessness services as “economic madness” when sites are lying idle across the city.