Kildare County Council clamping down on owners of derelict properties

The owners of vacant residential or commercial units can be served with official notices

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

editor@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare County Council clamping down on owners of derelict properties

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Kildare County Council is clamping down on derelict properties as part of continued efforts to make more housing available across the county.

The owners of vacant residential or commercial units can be served with official notices requesting them to carry out works in order to sell or rent the units for potential residents.

A local authority has the powers to serve the Section 11 notices under the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

The Council confirmed to the Leader that its Environment Section issued 21 such notices in 2018 and a further five notices in 2019.

Under the legislation, the Environment Section of the Council has directed that all waste must be removed from sites and grounds must be maintained and removed of overgrowth.

General maintenance must also be carried out to prevent the property becoming derelict.

Deadlines

Deadlines are also given and all the works must be carried out within four weeks of the date of the notices.

Under the Derelict Sites Act, a derelict site is defined as any land that “detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood.”

If a property owner is convicted in court of failing to to carry out the measures required by the local authority he or she can be fined €2,500 or face up to six months in prison.

Since 2015, a derelict site can be subject to a Vacant Site Levy — which was calculated at 7% of market value in 2019. This levy aimed at ensuring that vacant land in urban areas is brought into beneficial use.

Sites registered on the Vacant Sites Register — which have been vacant for a minimum of 12 months — can be subject to the levy.

Purchase

In some cases a local authority can buy a derelict site either by agreement with the owner or by compulsory purchase. It must advertise the details of any proposed compulsory purchase and send a notice to the owner or occupier of the land. If an objection is made, the local authority cannot buy the land without the consent of An Bord Pleanála.

In some cases a local authority can buy a derelict site either by agreement with the owner or by compulsory purchase.

It must advertise the details of any proposed compulsory purchase and send a notice to the owner or occupier of the land.

If an objection is made, the local authority cannot buy the land without the consent of An Bord Pleanála.