CITY Hall has rejected calls for it to compulsorily purchase a “key regeneration” development site which lies derelict in Mahon.
The Lakelands Tavern site, on Avenue De Rennes, has long been identified as a key development site for the area with affordable housing and a library possible uses.
The Mahon Local Area Plan — drawn up by the last term of council — contained a number of objectives for the Avenue De Rennes area, including seeking the redevelopment of vacant and under-utilised sites to create an attractive high street.
The site is listed on Cork City Council’s derelict sites, with a market value of €600,000.
Councillor Kieran McCarthy asked the local authority to consider purchasing the site this week but has been told this is not possible because there is no “clear plan” in place for the area.
Mr McCarthy said: “This site is in a very poor condition and is an eyesore in the area; it is also the key in unlocking the regeneration of the area around it and a key to furthering the Mahon Local Area Plan. There is not a community meeting that goes by in Mahon whereby the concern and frustration of locals is not vented about this site.”
However, City Hall’s head of corporate affairs, Paul Moynihan, responded: “Cork City Council acknowledges the poor condition of the Lakelands Bar site and the need for the removal of dereliction.
“To this end, a number of solutions are being considered.
“A compulsory purchase order is not considered appropriate at this time. Acquisition of the site, without a clear plan for its use, would simply mean that the dereliction would fall upon the council.
“Council officers from [the] placemaking, property services and strategic and economic development [departments] are currently considering the wider Avenue De Rennes area, including the Lakelands Bar site, and will develop the council’s position over the coming months.
“The site is on the Derelict Sites Register, with levies accruing. Should the site be compulsorily purchased at a later date, these levies can be deducted from the purchase price,” he added.
Mr McCarthy has urged the owner to either develop the site, rather than leave it fall into further disrepair, or sell it.