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Derelict sites blighting city soar by 40pc

THE number of derelict sites on the official city register has shot up by 40pc during the economic downturn.

And even though Dublin City Council's list now contains 36 buildings, the real figure is much higher as many sites do not appear on the local authority register.

The owners of properties which make it on to the schedule are fined by the council.

However, much of this money remains outstanding, with more than €670,000 going unpaid as of last year.

A council spokesman told the Herald: "Owners of (the) properties ... are liable to levies under the Derelict Sites Act."

The council's record shows the number increased steadily between 2007 and 2011, going from 26 to 36, a rise of 38.4pc.

It has remained at 36 since last year. Data made available to the Herald shows that €672,860 was owing to the local authority in unpaid levies up to last year.

The sum outstanding from one site alone in Dublin 12 was €293,625.

The council is empowered to impose levies when a building is deemed to be in a state of dereliction.



Priority

The amounts can be anything from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of euro, depending on the size of the premises. Some of the sites have been on the register since 2003 and 2004.

The council would not reveal how much of the money remained unpaid this year, saying it would not comment on individual sites.

"Dublin City Council's main priority is to ensure that the property owner or owners carry out the works that the council requires to render it non-derelict," a spokesman said.

Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, a building qualifies as derelict when it "detracts, or is likely to detract" from the "amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood".

It includes properties which are in a "ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition" or when the land itself is in a "neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition".

Last May, planning experts from around Europe visited Dublin to advise on how best to address the capital's growing numbers of derelict or empty sites.

The aim was to come up with a plan on how to put some 200 sites back into use.

comurphy@herald.ie


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