Athy Municipal District members have agreed to ask the owners of local derelict buildings what their intentions are for them, and if the buildings are available to be used by, or donated to the council.
Cllr Thomas Redmond tabled the motion at this month’s area meeting which was held in Athy earlier today Monday, January 21.
Cllr Redmond said that a number of beautiful buildings have become derelict locally and in his view these should either be returned to the council, or maintained by the owners.
“Derelict buildings are bringing down the area,” he said. “I would like to know what plans the owners have for them. Are they going to donate them or do them up?”
He cited examples such as White’s Castle in Athy adding there were some beautiful unused buildings in main street, Monasterevin.
The meeting heard that council has powers under the Derelict Sites Act to request that owners or occupiers of derelict type structures undertake appropriate improvement works.
KCC’s Joe Boland said specific buildings will be investigated, adding that the council can take either a formal, or an informal approach.
Members heard that dereliction usually arises for a number of reasons such as trading difficulties, ownership, change of use, owners personal circumstances and financial ability to effect improvements.
Cllr Martin Miley said that it pulls an area down if buildings are left in disrepair, but in some cases he said it costs more to upgrade them than what the building is worth.
It was agreed that a briefing in committee on the status of the council’s current cases within the municipal district can be facilitated next month.
Cllr Redmond requested that the meeting be open to the public but he was told that it would not be possible on this occasion.