Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor has called for Wexford County Council to put compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on buildings and apartments that have been left lying idle in the town centre for an extended period of time.
Cllr Lawlor took the opportunity to raise the issue at a special county council meeting on housing which took place last week. At the meeting, the Housing Department pointed out that the highest level of demand was for one and two bedroom properties and the Labour councillor pointed out that there were several buildings suitable for such dwellings lying vacant in Wexford town.
Two such buildings pointed out by Cllr Lawlor were an apartment block on the corner of John's Gate Street and a stone's throw away, a building on the crossroads at John Street which is still listed to let for commercial office space by REA McCormack Corish. Cllr Lawlor says both buildings have been vacant for in excess of ten years.
'The council should be able to CPO these apartments,' he said.
'The fact that there are apartments and buildings lying idle in the middle of town when we're in the midst of a housing crisis is disgraceful. I really think there's a case to be made for a CPO.'
Although they may have fallen into a degree of disrepair, both buildings are finely finished and modern looking with sleek glass facades.
The apartments on the corner of John's Gate Street include balconies to the rear, while the office space on John Street is described as having a lobby, ample open office space, a landing and a roof garden above.
Cllr Lawlor has vowed to continue to raise the issue going forward with a view to seeing what the council can do.