City Hall to tackle dereliction and vacancy in Mahon

City Hall to tackle dereliction and vacancy in Mahon
The former Lakelands Tavern building in Mahon. It has been placed on the Derelict Sites Register.

CITY Hall expects to complete a deal to buy the former health centre on Lakelands Crescent in Mahon before the end of the year.

It is part of a wider crackdown on dereliction and vacancy in Mahon, though officials say there is still no decision about what the building will be used for despite continued calls for the development of a library in the area.

The purchase of the HSE-owned building is part of the wider redevelopment of Avenue de Rennes and the heart of Mahon.

Local councillors have repeatedly called on City Hall to identify and secure vacant and unused properties in the area. The recent IBAL survey noted dereliction as a major concern in the Mahon area.
Last year, the former Abode site on Skehard Road was demolished after becoming a magnet for antisocial behaviour. 

Local representatives had hoped to see other large sites in the area transformed for community use, including the potential development of a library.

A report issued by City Hall officials in response to a question from local councillor Nicholas O'Keeffe detailed the work ongoing in the area. It includes efforts to secure derelict and vacant sites in the area 'to facilitate development.'

"The Mahon Local Area Plan contained a number of objectives for the Avenue De Rennes area, including seeking the redevelopment of vacant and underutilised sites to create an attractive high street for Mahon and a physical force for the community; and enhancing key streets to ensure that they offer safe and attractive environments and encourage walking and cycling," the report said.

To date, this work has included putting the former Lakelands Tavern on the derelict sites register, with a second site on Skehard Road also under consideration for placement on the register.

"Cork City Council will continue to engage with the owners of these sites with a view to bringing forward redevelopment which would meet the Local Area Plan objectives," the report states.

'Compulsory acquisition powers' may be used to further these aims where determined necessary, it added.

The report continued: "The City Council is in the process of acquiring the former Health Centre from the HSE but this transaction has yet to be completed. It is expected that closing will be reached prior to Christmas. No final decision has been reached on the future use of the building when brought into Council ownership but a number of existing social and community uses are being considered that meet with local need and provide the best opportunity to realise the wider regeneration of the Avenue de Rennes area."

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