Clare’s empty vacant sites register has been described as “scandalous” at a time when thousands of sites around the county are lying idle.
The register was set up over a year and a half ago, when local authorities were obliged to establish one to promote development on prime housing land.
Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
The aim of setting up a vacant sites register in each county, as directed by the Department of Housing, was to encourage developments to address the housing crisis.
Those who owned such sites would be hit with a 3% levy by the local authority initially and this would rise to 7% if it remained vacant.
However, because Clare’s register remains empty, it means no levies will be imposed on owners of vacant sites next year.
Cathaoireach of Shannon Muncipial District Independent Councillor Gerry Flynn, who’s the Chair of the county’s Housing Committee, says questions need to be raised with the local authority.
Clare County Council says it’s continually monitoring the situation and that in the event that it feels a specific site should be registered, this can be done on an ongoing basis.
Concerns have been raised that not enough is being done to quickly address the housing crisis and Dermot Hayes, who is also a member of the housing committee, says that it’s nothing short of disgraceful that nothing has been done.