City Hall's dereliction clampdown: 75 sites now registered

City Hall's dereliction clampdown: 75 sites now registered
Derelict buildings on Thomas Davis St. Blackpool. Picture:Des Barry

CORK City Council’s renewed focus on derelict sites is paying dividends, with 75 sites now on the Derelict Sites Register (DSR) and close to half a million euro in levies demanded from the owners of derelict buildings so far in 2018.

However, getting the levies paid is another matter, with more than €130,000 remaining unpaid from 2017.

A number of major sites being added to the register in 2017 have boosted the figure levied for this year to €446,700.

“The amount levied has increased substantially as levies are now due on sites placed on the Derelict Sites Register in 2017, and several of these sites are high value,” a Council spokesperson said.

“The combined value of all sites placed on the Register in 2017 was over €10m, compared to a combined value of €1.6m for sites placed on the Register in 2016.”

With unused property a particular issue in the current housing shortage, the local authority has been giving extra administrative resources to the area for several years now.

“The City Council has been investing time and resource in improving the Derelict Sites process over the last five years, including improvements to procedures/systems. Improved efficiency of the DSR systems has resulted in improved outcomes.”

In 2017, €176,885 was levied by the City Council but it only received €39,795 by the end of the year.

However, the Council has other opportunities to collect any monies owed.

“The City Council does its best to seek payment of levies made to the owners of those properties on the DSR.

If the levies are not paid in any particular year (or multiple years) then they become a charge on the property, which is duly repaid to the City Council when a property is sold/acquired.”

The Council also works with landowners to get closed off where possible, before they have to be added to the DSR.

Fourteen sites that the Council had been aware of were closed off in the first quarter of 2018, with the Council satisfied that the properties were renovated or nearing completion.

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