CORK County Council has disclosed that, as part of its response to the blight of derelict sites around the county, the owners of such sites are able to avail of paint grants to do up their properties from their local municipal council.
he admission came in a response from Cork County Council to queries by The Corkman which followed up our recent story revealing that the local authority had collected just €900 in derelict site levies since 2017 in the county despite being owed €308,000.
Campaigners estimate that the amount owed in derelict site levies could amount to millions which would be payable to the cash-strapped council.
In a statement in response to detailed questions from The Corkman, Cork County Council disclosed that the local authority had prioritised 124 sites across the county for action and that progress was being on all of these.
“In some cases identifying the property owner is a challenge – “appeal” posters have been used in some instances.
“A significant amount of the progress has been achieved through informal engagement with the owners outside of the DS Register. Progress made includes:
“Written correspondence and onsite meetings with owners
“Commitments by owners to undertake works to render sites non derelict – in some cases works have been completed, or are underway. These include physical works and/or repairs
“The Council’s Municipal District painting scheme, implemented across all MDs, has helped numerous property owners to improve the presentation of their properties
“Two properties have been demolished and sites cleared in North Cork
“Key sites in 5 no. towns (Bandon, Mallow, Macroom, Youghal and Passage West) are being prioritised for property activation. These sites involve activation focussed management
“Compulsory Purchase Orders are being progressed for sites in Mallow, Youghal and Ringaskiddy
“It should be noted that while the objectives of the derelict sites legislation is to render sites non derelict, the Council is prioritising certain sites for activation which, if successful, will ensure that such sites are redeveloped for town centre living and/or commercial activity.
“The Council recognises that these sites are in private ownership and is therefore not in a position to identify specific site locations.”
A key and very specific question posed by The Corkman to the Council remained unanswered.
“How many sites have been transformed from derelict to liveable since 2017?”
And another question for which the answer was not specific enough was:
“Can Cork County Council give examples of the ‘ample progress’ made in each of Cork’s municipal areas in dealing with the owners of derelict sites? “