Friday 27 April 2018

Council must learn 'full implications' of boom-time land deals

LOUTH County Council should be informed of the 'full implications' of land bought during the boom, according to Cllr. Tomas Sharkey.

The ongoing issue of property and land bought by the local authority during the 'Celtic Tiger' era and its subsequent deflation in value has not been addressed, said the north Louth councillor.

'The council has been through the mill over the last few months, over how the public's money is being spent,' said Cllr. Sharkey. 'We need to know the full implications of land being bought with cash reserves, land that we might not now be able to use for housing.'

County Manager Philomena Poole told the February meeting that Louth County Council, like other local authorities, is very concerned about the issue of land bought during the boom.

'There is a view that nationally this should be addressed,' said Ms. Poole.

She said the council were in the process of compiling a full report on all plots of land in Louth.

Cllr. Tommy Byrne said that it was becoming 'water under the bridge' in terms of land bought during the property boom.

Chairman Declan Breathnach added: 'We have to remind ourselves that we were the councillors shouting for land to be bought.'

Cllr. Tomas Sharkey said there was an issue with land bought at Kilkerley which had not been zoned for building. Cllr. Finnan McCoy told the meeting: 'When we were buying land here for social housing, we were representing the public who wanted us to buy land to build houses.'

The Argus