NEWS

Dereliction sites crisis in Letterkenny

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.com

Dereliction sites crisis in Letterkenny

Cllr Ian McGarvey claimed there were 13 vacant buildings in Lower Main Street, Letterkenny

An appeal for the Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District to deal with the dereliction that existed on Lower Main Street, Letterkenny has been made.

Cllr Ian McGarvey claimed there were 13 vacant buildings in this area.

He was informed at their last meeting a targeted review of potentially significant derelict sites that firstly meet the definition of a derelict site [as contained in the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 (As Amended)] in the central areas of Letterkenny has been undertaken in tandem with the preparation of the Letterkenny Local Area Plan (LAP) with a view to informing both the plan and also the work of the recently-established regeneration unit.

"On foot of this work, it is anticipated that procedures to add a number of sites to the Donegal County Council derelict sites register will commence in the near future. As and when sites are successfully added, consideration will then turn to the most effective use of the enforcement provisions available to local authorities under the aforementioned legislation. Members will be updated at key junctures of this process and there will be opportunity to discuss in detail at the planned LAP workshops," said a council spokesperson.

In a follow up question Cllr McGarvey asked if the Municipal District would deal with the outstanding dereliction as some are becoming dangerous.

He was told that to date the capacity of the council to prioritise the use of the provisions of the derelict sites legislation had been limited and this, coupled with the likely review of the legislation flagged in discussions under the Rebuilding Ireland initiative, had contributed to its limited application across the country.

"The scope of the usefulness of the Derelict Sites Act, in conjunction with other measures such as the Vacant Sites Levy, to facilitate regeneration opportunities is being examined by the central planning unit in relation to potential cross-directorate approaches to urban and rural regeneration.

"In this context, a targeted review of derelict sites in the central areas of our larger towns is being progressed in tandem with both the Local Area Plan preparation programme and also the opportunities that may arise from the regeneration funding streams announced during 2018," the spokesperson added.