The recent sale of several derelict properties in Cork city has helped the city rake in just over €476,000 in derelict site levies (DSLs) in just three months.
It’s more than nine times the amount of DSLs which were collected in the second quarter of the year but it is still less than a third of the €1,748,390 in DSLs owed to the city this year.
Properties added to a city’s Derelict Sites Register have since 2020 attracted an annual levy of 7% of the market value of the property at the time it was placed on the register. But the collection rate has been traditionally low, for a variety of reasons. For example, Cork City Council collected just under €40,000 in derelict sites levies in 2017, second behind Dublin City which collected €193,000.
Data in a report from Cork City Council chief executive, Ann Doherty, this week shows the city has collected just over €527,000 in DSLs so far this year.
The council’s head of strategic development, Fearghal Reidy, confirmed that the increase in DSL collection in the third quarter is due largely to the recent sale of a number of derelict properties and is proof that the debt must be discharged upon the sale of the property.
Data in Ms Doherty’s report also shows that the council opened 19 new dereliction files in the first quarter of 2021, 11 in the second quarter and 12 in the third quarter but has only added two sites to the derelict sites register since the start of the year. A further 36 sites are in the process of being added to the register.
The report shows that 10 sites have been removed from the register since the start of the year due to the removal of dereliction and four derelict sites have been resolved informally, with 10 sites in total resolved since the start of the year - nine in the last three months alone.
Another six derelict properties are being lined up for compulsory acquisition in addition to the four derelict properties on North Main Street and two derelict properties on Barrack Street which are in the CPO process - a process which is being challenged by two separate parties.
Mr Reidy said the city is also on target to complete 100 site inspections before the end of the year. He also said he hopes to have a draft city centre strategy ready for publication before the end of October.
It will contain a raft of “proposed actions and site-specific interventions” to deal with dereliction, creating urban gardens, and potential greening projects across the city centre island area.
The draft city development plan already contains proposals to broaden planning uses on St Patrick’s Street to help promote hospitality uses on corner sites and to encourage active street frontage.