A forced purchase should be carried out by Laois County Council on a derelict building in Stradbally, say local councillors.
A listed house and shop on Main Street, formerly Dobbins, is closed for over 15 years. The shopfront is part covered with a block wall (photo of building in better days).
Cllr Paschal McEvoy tabled a motion at the October meeting of the Graiguecullen Portarlington Municipal District, asking for an update onpossibly using a Compulsory Purchase Order.
“It is owned by an Italian individual. I have called him but he won’t answer his phone. He started renovating it and then left it four years ago. It is an absolute eyesore in the town. It takes from the whole look of the town,” he said.
Cllr McEvoy said that Stradbally Tidy Towns group has also tried to make contact with the owner.
“I want the council to take it back and turn it into social housing. It is sad to have it looking like that,” he said.
Cllr Ben Brennan agreed.
“It’s terrible to start off something and leave it, it’s worse that way,” he said.
Cllr Padraig Fleming was concerned at the reply, which said Planning would look at the property to consider its potential reuse.
“Cost implications will have to be considered in terms of potential funding requirements” senior planner Angela McEvoy said in her reply.
“I thought this whole CPO process had money. Why are they saying ‘if there is funding’,” he said.
Cllr Tom Mulhall said the building was ideal for the Repair and Leasing Scheme.
“Owners can get €40k to do up an old property, the council does a lease agreement and puts a tenant in. If you do get through to the owner, mention it to them,” he said.