Old Kilkenny buildings becoming derelict as regulations scare off buyers - Aylward

Listed/protected buildings 'falling down' due to restrictions prohibiting intervention

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

County Hall.

County Hall: At the November meeting of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Eamon Aylward said he had been approached by people who were willing to buy properties , but were put off by restrictions

Concerns have been expressed that viable older properties are being left vacant and falling into dereliction due to their inclusion on Kilkenny’s Record of Protected Structures.

At the November meeting of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Eamon Aylward said he had been approached by people who were willing to buy such properties with the intention of making an intervention, and not demolishing the building. However, the demands being placed on them were prohibitive.

“In the end, the potential purchaser has walked away,” he said.

“And now we are left with houses derelict or falling down. The demands of the council or preservation officer meant they walked away and the house ends up falling down or will probably end up being demolished.”

Responding, the council’s vacant homes officer Evelyn Graham said she was currently undertaking CPD on energy renovation, and little credit had been given to the fabric of some older buildings. She said there were a lot of ‘mal-adaptations that can take place and actually make matters worse’. Ms Graham said it was a complex area.

“You can’t just demolish everything pre 1990 — even modern buildings have their merit.”

Cllr Aylward emphasised that the people he was talking about did not want to demolish the buildings.

“They want to maintain them,” he said. “We need to give people more help and guidance on this, and more leeway.”

Director of services Mary Mulholland agreed it was an issue.

“A property on the Listed Structures is believed to be a barrier,” she said.

“It is something that will have to be addressed. Now it is a case of seeing what policy objectives can be brought forward.”

Cllr Joe Lyons said some people were using the ‘protected structure’ label as an excuse not to do anything with a property.