‘Use it or lose it’ - Cork City Council to get aggressive with landlords sitting on empty sites

‘Use it or lose it’ - Cork City Council to get aggressive with landlords sitting on empty sites
Irish Tricolour and Chinese flag flying at Cork City hall on Thursday 2nd October 2008. /Picture; Larry Cummins /Evening Echo Staff

LANDLORDS who are sitting on undeveloped sites in Cork city centre have been warned to 'use it or lose it' in 2018.

Cork City Council has confirmed that it is set to take an 'aggressive' approach towards identifying and acquiring unused, important sites in the city centre in the coming months.

It is understood that many strategic sites have been identified as prime locations for infill housing, retail and office development, with City Hall set to take a 'low tolerance' approach with landlords sitting on prime sites instead of developing them.

Officials at the local authority have already identified more than a dozen such sites, including several 'prominent' ones in the heart of the city.

"Our tolerance level for a lack of development will be low," said Pat Ledwidge, the deputy chief executive of Cork City Council.

"We will be aggressively pursuing the owners of unused land and have already identified 15 sites in the existing city boundary. People will know many of these already."

Mr Ledwidge declined to identify any particular sites but said that the City Council's list includes some 'prominent' ones in the city centre.

The confirmation comes on the back of a number of calls from elected members of Cork City Council, who have criticised City Hall for not acting on derelict and unused property in the city centre in the past.

It is understood that a relaxation in the regulations surrounding Compulsory Purchase Orders will motivate the local authority to consider this avenue more when it comes to strategic sites in the city.

Mr Ledwidge said, "It is as simple as this - if the sites aren't being developed, we will have a very low level of tolerance with this. We will be aggressively pursuing quite a number of these sites."

As of the end of the third quarter of 2017, just six sites had been purchased under CPO by Cork City Council, a figure which prompted quite a few elected members of the Council to call for the city to exercise greater powers in this sector.

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