Tourist town sites clean-up under way

A CAMPAIGN is under way to clean up derelict sites and buildings in tourist haven Killarney.

The local town council, which has reported a good response from owners of previously identified blackspot sites, is compiling a new list of sites which need attention.

A council spokesperson said they usually start with a “softly, softly” approach when writing to people under the Derelict Sites Act, but said they are determined to ensure eyesores were dealt with.

Killarney’s points in the Tidy Towns competition have been improving steadily in recent years but the town is still falling short of its ambition to win the outright national prize.

This is despite huge efforts over the past decade to improve the overall appearance of the town and a large-scale planting operation at roundabouts and along approach roads.

Town planner Fiona O’Sullivan said 85 owners of derelict properties had been written to since November of last year.

More than 70% had replied, with the majority indicating necessary work would be carried out as soon as possible, she added.

Notices are being issued to property owners who are not co-operating with the council and at least 50 further sites will be looked at in the coming months.

Killarney town manager John Breen said the Act could help resolve issues in relation to ownership and title to properties.

“A lot of problems relating to these issues can be tidied up under derelict sites notices,” he pointed out.

Labour councillor Sean O’Grady said the council’s need to get tough on derelict sites was long overdue.

In this year’s Tidy Towns competition, Killarney scored 303 points, two better than last year and five better than in 2007.

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