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'We can't just seize property' - council will negotiate for sites

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DCC deputy Brendan Kenny

DCC deputy Brendan Kenny

DCC deputy Brendan Kenny

Dublin City Council (DCC) wants to negotiate with owners of derelict properties that could be used as family hubs as it attempts to fight the homelessness crisis.

However, the council doesn't want to use compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to buy the buildings because the process takes years, its housing chief has said.

Speaking at a special meeting on housing, DCC deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny said the council wants to negotiate for the buildings instead.

The Government and council have been under increasing pressure to use CPOs to buy vacant sites as the housing crisis spirals out of control.

However, Mr Kenny said it could take up to eight months to CPO a building without objection - and if the owner does oppose it, it would take much longer. He said CPO is not the way to go about attaining vacant buildings.

"We can't just seize property," Mr Kenny added.

"If we do a CPO and the owner doesn't object, it takes about seven to eight months."

He said that if the owner does oppose it - which is likely - it could take years.

Aware

The council will put advertisements in national newspapers this week looking for vacant properties suitable for family hubs which they can attempt to buy from the owner.

"We'd like to hear from people, we'd like to hear from councillors if they are aware of vacant property," Mr Kenny said.

"We're quite willing to negotiate with the owner to buy those properties.

"We don't have to go down the route of CPOs."

Meanwhile, council executive manager Tony Flynn wants to fast-track the building of developments of 100 units or more by using volume-metric design build technology.

This would mean that many of the components of the property - such as the block building - would be done off-site.

They would be prefabricated and developed in factories instead.

Mr Flynn said that this, along with a new contractors' framework to fast-track the tender process, could halve the time it takes to complete a building.

He said that for a development of 100 units or more, it currently takes about five-and-a-half years.

Last night, councillors voted in favour of a motion for €2.3bn to be provided to the council to buy private lands for development and building.


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