Longford County Council to get tough with owners of derelict sites

Up to 50 orders to be served

Longford County Council to get tough with owners of derelict sites
By Liam Cosgrove

Longford County Council will issue 30 derelict site orders at the beginning of September to property owners who have allowed the premises to fall into disrepair.

Addressing members at last week's county council meeting, Director of Services John Brannigan said just under half of the orders will compel derelict site owners to remedy dangerous buildings or clean up abandoned sites.

“We have identified there is an issue with derelict sites across the county and we are proactively dealing with that,” he said.

Mr Brannigan said the Council had issued just under 20 notices and are in the process of readying 30 more by September 1.

Under the terms of the Derelict Sites Act 1990 local authorities can initiate stances and carry out compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on sites where owners don't comply with certain orders.

It also comes after the previous Fine Gael/Labour government last year introduced new legislation allowing local authorities to impose an annual levy based on 3% of the site value if it remains undeveloped.

Fine Gael's Peggy Nolan advised council bosses to extend that approach to unfinished estates.

“There's nothing more that brings down the spirit of a residents association than vacant houses,” she commented.

“It's a huge, huge job and a huge body of work needs to be done in order to raise the profile of the county.”