Cork City Council must act upon derelict sites through compulsory purchase order especially if they are long term blights on the landscape, says Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
In recent City Council debates on dereliction in Cork City, Cllr McCarthy has voiced concern again that the derelict site fine has become too blunt an instrument to deal with dangerous buildings in older parts of the city. At this moment is time, landowners are fined 3 per cent per year of the land value. However, it was heard during a Council finance committee meeting last week that under five per cent of the fines can be only drawn down by the Council due to many long term derelict sites in limbo with their legal title and in NAMA.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “There are over over 100 registered derelict sites in Cork City, which have been identified as derelict and unsightly and whose landowners have been fined. It’s an absolute disgrace that some owners have left their buildings in such a state over decades. I have no problem with someone who genuinely cannot develop their premises for financial reasons and who board up their building accordingly plus then develop when they can- But I have a huge problem with landowners with no sense of civic responsibility, who let their properties fall into disrepair and who create rotting concrete wildernesses”.
“Even in my own ward from Ballinlough to Donnybrook, there are empty properties- where the owners seem to have disappeared. Many could be turned back around into housing units. Many are the ongoing concern of neighbours – fearful of rodents or fire or generally bringing down the calibre of an area. There must be quicker mechanisms to cut through the red tape- especially legal title and NAMA related properties”, continued Cllr McCarthy.