I’m pleased to see that Fingal has published its Vacant Sites Register, as it is something I have raised regularly at Council meetings.
Where a site has been put on the Vacant Sites Register, it means that it is suitable to be used for housing, but the owner is not doing so for whatever reason. From 2019 on, each year that the land lies unused, the landowner will have to pay a levy to the State. They idea is that landowners either develop the land for much needed housing, or sell it on to someone else who will.
In December, I put down a question to the Council about how many sites it planned to put onto the Register. In response, the Council said it was looking at 25 sites initially. However, so far the Register as published only has 8 sites listed on it. I will be seeking clarification at the Council meeting this Tuesday about the status of the remaining 17 sites. Has the Council decided they are not actually vacant, or are they going to be added to the Register later?
The Vacant Sites Register is one of the tools that has been designed to get homes built in areas where they are needed. The levy on large landowners is also a source of revenue for the State. It is vital that Fingal include all appropriate vacant sites on its Register.