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Over 600 city building sites may be taxed

A LEVY on hundreds of vacant sites and disused land in Dublin is being proposed.

More than 600 empty parcels of land within the city limits have been mapped in an audit undertaken by the council.

The Government is expected to get tough on the owners of vacant or derelict sites in a bid to encourage development.

A levy on is being mooted to discourage the hoarding of disused land by speculators who do not intend to develop it.

A government taskforce is currently working on ways to introduce such a charge.

The hoarding of such sites in the capital is being blamed for artificially pushing up the price of development land.

A champion of the proposed levy is Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, who has called for the urgent implementation of the move.

The results of the council audit are expected to be published in the near future, according to a report.

While most of the land is privately owned, some of it is in public ownership.

A number of sites are under the control of the Office of Public Works.

Meanwhile, it was revealed a year ago that the number of derelict sites on the official city register shot up by 40pc during the economic downturn.

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

The council is empowered to impose levies when a building is deemed to be derelict.



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

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