Four derelict Cork city centre buildings to be acquired by council

In granting its consent for the compulsory acquisition of numbers 62, 63, 64 and 65 North Main St, the board said it considered each of the sites on the historic street to be derelict
Four derelict Cork city centre buildings to be acquired by council

An Bord Pleanála has approved the compulsory acquisition by Cork City Council of four derelict city centre buildings numbers 62, 63, 64, 65 North Main Street. Picture: Larry Cummins.

An Bord Pleanála has approved the compulsory acquisition by Cork City Council of four derelict city centre buildings which have come to symbolise the blight of dereliction.

In granting its consent for the compulsory acquisition of numbers 62, 63, 64 and 65 North Main Street, the board said it considered each of the sites on the historic street to be derelict.

Four individual CPO orders, one for each property, were all signed in recent days.

In each of the cases, the board said it had regard to the "neglected, unsightly and objectionable condition" of each property, and said it considered that each of the sites "detracts to a material degree from the amenity character and appearance of the land in the neighbourhood".

It also said it considered each of the structures to be in "a ruinous and dangerous condition", and that each, therefore, comes within the definition of a derelict site as defined under Section 3 of the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

The objections to the CPO on each of the buildings “cannot be sustained”, the board said.

The city council formally triggered the legal process last summer to acquire numbers 62 to 65 North Main Street, at the same time as it moved to acquire 118 and 119 Barrack Street, under Section 14 of the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

The four buildings at North Main Street were owned by David O’Connor and Bryan O’Connor when they were placed on the derelict sites register in December 2015 but they are now listed as being in the hands of a receiver.

The two buildings on Barrack Street were owned by David O’Connor when they were also placed on the register around the same time. 

The simultaneous move to acquire all six buildings came almost two years on from the partial collapse of 63 North Main Street and the erection of large external steel A-frames to prop up its facade and the installation of hoarding which led to the closure of a section of public footpath for over a year.

City Hall insisted that it was pursuing every legislative avenue available to hold the building owners accountable.

But despite extensive engagement with them and their legal and engineering representatives, the council had to intervene in summer 2020 and arrange for extensive building stabilisation works which allowed for the reopening of the public footpath.

Last summer, shortly after it moved to issue a compulsory purchase order for all six properties, the city council confirmed that it had received an objection from a party in relation to the North Main Street properties and a separate objection from another party in relation to all six properties.

The board approved the compulsory acquisition of the two buildings on Barrack St last December.

There are currently 95 sites listed on the city’s Derelict Sites Register.

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