Monday 25 March 2019

Call for door-to-door inspections on derelict sites around New Ross

Work being carried out on Harney’s Shoe Shop during the summer
Work being carried out on Harney’s Shoe Shop during the summer

David Looby

Following the collapse of the rear of Harney's shoe shop on John Street in New Ross at enormous cost to the council, Cllr Anthony Connick called on the local authority's planning department to carry out door-to-door inspections of all run down properties in the town.

Speaking at last week's municipal council meeting, District Manager Sinead Casey gave a brief update about the premises, saying structural support works are complete on site. 'The debris has been removed and weathering of adjoining buildings is ongoing. The legal owner of the property is still unknown but document searches continue.'

Cllr Connick said: 'It's very unfair on the people working up there. We have to get our act together in relation to the Derelict Sites Register. I don't know why some of the buildings listed are still on it, like the Ros Tapestry. The values on it just don't make sense and there are an awful lot more buildings in New Ross that are in worse shape and condition than the ones on this.' Cllr Connick praised the works carried out on the premises at 19 John Street. He said: 'Is there any way the planning department can come down and do a door-to-door check and find out who owns the buildings. We should categorise them and update the register completely as it's very unfair to business owners who are doing their very best.' Cllr Michael Sheehan called for a special meeting on the issue, saying with over €1 billion being allocated by the Government for rural regeneration it is an urgent issue. Ms Casey agreed with Cllr Connick that the register needs updating. 'That is one of the priorities we have here at the moment and as we progress it we will keep you updated.' Cathaoirleach Cllr John Fleming said: 'John Street has cost us a fortune out of the blue. We have to look at getting the owner to help us with the costs as it's another hole in our wage packet that we didn't need.'

Councillors were told that New Ross Chamber are carrying out a full review of all derelict buildings.

Cllr Connick said: 'I think we have to go further. There are buildings in the middle of the town that nobody has done anything with. In some cases the owners are not listed. Stuff is going on inside of the buildings and nobody knows who owns them. I really think the experts in the planning department should be involved as it's the only way we can keep control of it.'

Cllr Connick said the cost of works carried out at Harney's has been very high due to the inaccessibility of the back of the premises. I don't want this to happen again.' Cllr Michael Sheehan suggested the council could CPO the building prompting the owner to come forward but cathaoirleach Cllr John Fleming said that could take years.

New Ross Standard