Offaly County Council buying up vacant properties
Three compulsory purchase orders have been completed to date on vacant properties by Offaly County Council.
Replying to a query from Cllr Clare Claffey at this month's meeting of the local authority, the county council outlined how as part of the planning team plan for 2021 Vacant and Derelict sites have been given “priority” status.
“An internal working steering group has been established between Housing and Planning on this matter and have met on a number of occasions to discuss the way forward.
“Three successful CPOs have been completed to date by Housing on vacant properties and future works will proceed subject to availability of resources,” the reply outlined.
Cllr Claffey asked whether Offaly County Council could provide an update as agreed on the feasibility of establishing a vacant properties task force to address the issues of derelict and vacant properties in the county.
The update was agreed upon by county councillors on November 16 2020, following a motion by Cllr Clare Claffey to address the issues of derelict and vacant properties in the county.
However, Cllr Claffey submitted a further question on whether the update can be provided for this month's meeting of Offaly County Council, held on Monday, April 19.
Responding to the query, the local authority outlined how as part of the planning team plan for 2021 Vacant and Derelict sites have been given “priority” status.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Claffey welcomed the update before asking a number of further questions including whether the group was working off the register that was in place two years ago or had it subsequently been updated. She also asked what resources were in place regarding funding, how many were on the steering group and who was leading the steering group?
Responding to the councillor's questions, Stephane Duclot, Director of Services pointed out the issue had been identified as a priority for 2021. “However, Covid-19 has its impact but it will be a priority for the last part of 2021. I will come back to you with further information on this in the future,” he added.
Cllr Ken Smollen also noted the amount of vacant property in both Tullamore and Clara. “I think that it is time we had some sort of register, and update as to who the owners are. These buildings can't be left vacant and derelict, as some of them are. Some of them have even gone into dangerous condition. I would like to see something done there on this.”
Replying, the Director of Services, Mr Duclot outlined how it was planned to update the vacant site list where the council would include vacant properties. “We will also look at Clara,” he added.
Some people have described dereliction in Ireland as being an “epidemic.”