'Dreadful' derelict properties make Tidy Towns work harder

Local Council Discussion

'Dreadful' derelict properties make Tidy Towns work harder

The problem of derelict buildings in Cashel was a gain raised by a local councillor at the January meeting of the Cashel Tipperary Municipal District Committee.

From Cashel’s point of view, the problem “seems to be identifying the owners of properties. There are a significant number of absentee landlords,” Cllr Tom Wood said.

Cllr Wood named a property in Treacy Villas, at The Green, Cashel, as one such property. The property was “dreadful” and there has been “no success in identifying the owner,” he told the meeting.

Cllr Wood called on county council management to pressure agencies such as the ESB, who may still be charging the owners for a connection fee, to release details. “Even if no one is using it, can we use those to identify those properties? There are a significant number of properties where the key hasn’t been turned in 30 years. Somebody must know! If you own the property, and everything is above board why do you have to hide about it?”

All that would be needed to improve the area is for owners to only paint the front of their properties, suggested Cllr Wood.

Cllr Roger Kennedy said the derelict sites made the job of the Tidy Towns group more difficult. Scaffolding has gone up in O’Brien’s Street in Tipperary town, “but nothing has happened since,” said Cllr Kennedy, with reference to one building there. What powers of enforcement does the council have regarding derelict sites? Could the Council make a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on such premises, asked Cllr Kennedy.

A council official said the matter of ownership is “very complex” as nowadays many properties have been taken over by NAMA (the National Management Assets Agency) or so-called ‘vulture funds’. There would be also be “data protection” issues in relation to using ESB to identify owners. The Council can put notices on properties such as 9 Treacy Villas to “flush out people”.

In relation to O’Brien Street, officials have spoken to the scaffold licensee, and he has been told he has to get work going on the roof “in the next couple of weeks,” the meeting heard.