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03/08/2021

Hoarders of vacant lots in Laois face not forced to cough up for abandoning properties

laois brian stanley

The old Centrepoint site in Laois was declared vacant in 2017 and not fenced off until 2021 after fire

Local authorities must start hitting the owners of vacant properties with financial penalties according to a Laois TD who claims councils in his constituency have not penalised any owners.

Laois Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley raised the issue while peaking in the Dáil on the Planning and Development Bill 2021. 

"Local authorities need to implement the vacant site levy more vigorously. Serious pressure needs to be put on these developers to free up land they are hoarding for housing.

“Last year, councils in Ireland were owed more than €21.5m in vacant site levies and collected just €21,000.

"I received a Parliamentary Question back from the Minister in February confirming that Laois and Offaly councils hadn’t collected anything. The levy clearly isn’t working and doesn’t serve as a deterrent," he said.

He asked: "There are developers hoarding land, waiting for prices to increase while families wait on homes. We also need to ask whether the 7% annual max levy is high enough of a deterrent?’’ MORE BELOW LINK

He said Sinn Féin is proposing that we give power back to local authorities to drive planning developments in their own area.

"That will speed up the planning process through de-centralisation, and that we impose serious levies on sites left vacant by developers,” he said.

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