Derelict house. File pic.
The number of derelict sites in South Kilkenny is “pretty troublesome” according to Cllr Pat Dunphy. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot being done with them,” he said.
Cllr Dunphy said the council had a responsibility for derelict sites and asked how they could speed up the process of having them improved. He said a lot could be done from a desk and an official did not have to go out and look at them all.
“There are far too many of them and there are far too many people doing nothing with them,” Cllr Dunphy said.
District chairman, Cllr Eamon Aylward, said his colleague had a good point. A lot of problems stem from buildings with preservation orders, he said, stressing he was “not calling for our heritage to be bulldozed” but for a “bit of flexibility” where a building has fallen into disrepair.
The amount of derelict sites is frustrating for people on the housing list, Cllr Ger Frisby said.
There are nearly 600 open files on derelict sites around the county, Director of Services Sean McKeown told the meeting.
Notices have been served on owners in recent years and in most cases the landowner has complied. After that it becomes a ‘resource issue’, Mr McKeown explained.
In some cases Kilkenny County Council issued compulsory purchase orders to buy the buildings for use as social housing. This does require a dedicated approach, he said.
Mr McKeown encouraged the councillors to report derelict sites and they would all be followed up.