JUST one site has been removed from Cork City Council’s dereliction register in the last 12 months.
The figure has led to calls for a crackdown on landlords with derelict properties throughout the city centre.
A report from management at Cork City Council revealed that there were 70 properties on the local authority’s dereliction register at the end of the second quarter of 2017.
Six new sites had been entered during the second quarter, while 12 new files were also opened against sites which may eventually end up on the register.
Just four sites saw dereliction resolved informally without entry to the register, while the figures revealed that just one property was removed from the register due to the removal of its dereliction since the start of the third quarter of 2016.
Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould said that some city communities have been disproportionately struggling due to the presence of dereliction in recent years.
He said that central government needs to loosen the regulations on dereliction to allow local authorities to be more proactive in solving the problem. “There are dozens of properties lying idle in the city, especially in Shandon, Blackpool and Barrack St,” he said.
The report states that the council has not acquired any derelict sites in the last 12 months.
Mr Gould said: “That is not good enough. Some of these sites could be compulsory purchased and used for housing in the city.
“What we need is a carrot and stick approach. Increase the levies on the properties to encourage activity or make it clear that Cork City Council will compulsory purchase.”
Management at City Hall has previously indicated that CPOs are the last stage of a complex process. They have noted there are complexities in terms of finding additional funding in an already-stretched budget to purchase the properties.
Currently, owners of derelict properties are charged levies at 3% of the property value per annum in a bid to motivate use.
Under this, Cork City Council has issued levies of €160,385 in the year to-date. Just €36,694 has been paid. In 2016, just €43,078 was paid on more than €130,000 worth of levies. “3% isn’t enough of an impact,” Mr Gould said. “This should be increased to 10% nationally. That way, it either generates significant income... or it motivates people to develop sites.”