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Thurles – Definition Of Urban Decay

It ceases to amaze me how businesses are expected to trade successfully and still continue to pay their Rates, when surrounded by ruinous, neglected and unsightly derelict structures, as is the case in fact, in the areas of Westgate, Wolfe Tone Place, Friar Street and Croke Street, Thurles.

Tipperary County Council, to be fair and in order to improve the street-scape and public demesne of Thurles, and indeed any other town in the county, offered generous supports in recent years, to property owners to improve and enhance properties and public areas. They widely advertised this year, offering; if applied for before June 1st, 2018, up to 50% of the approved cost of any works undertaken, subject to a maximum of €500.00.

Many availed of this grant, but many sadly did not grab a paint brush.

Definition Of Dereliction
(A) Structures / buildings which are accepted as being in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition.
(B) Neglected, unsightly or objectionable sites/ land which may or may not contain a structure thereon.
(C) Sites with a presence of unsightly litter, rubbish, debris or other waste deposits or collection.

Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, Tipperary Local Authority can serve an order on any building requiring its owner to undertake the necessary work to refurbish or to demolish, especially if it is determined to be a safety issue. In the event of non-compliance with the Local Authority, an annual levy of 3% of the estimated market value of the property can be levied against the owner of the property; latter owner quickly identified through a Land Registry Folio.

The Local Authority must, however, first write to the identified owner informing them of their intention to place the identified property on their Derelict Sites Register; together with a report stating the necessary upgrading needed to raise the offending building/ land to a required standard; thus forcing owners to clean up their vacant sites/ buildings and/or dangerous structures.

Derelict Sites Register
Each Local Authority must keep a register of all derelict sites in their area, with same containing the location of every derelict site; the name; the address, together with full details of any/all action taken by the Local Authority regarding the identified property. If property is owned or occupied by a Local Authority itself, the register must contain details of what the local authority intend to do with the property. The register must give details of the current market value of every site listed. Owner do have the right to appeal the valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the notice.
A Derelict Sites Register must be made available for public inspection.

Compulsory Purchase
Local Authority can recover the cost of essential work deemed necessary on any derelict site from its owner. The local authority can buy the derelict site, either by owner agreement or by compulsory purchase. Any proposed compulsory purchase must be advertised in the local newspaper and a notice sent to the owner or occupier of the land. In the case of an objection, the Local authority cannot buy the land without the consent of An Bord Pleanála.

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