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Wicklow County Council Collected Zero in Dereliction Levies for 2 Years

Green TD, Steven Matthews has criticised Wicklow County Council for failing to collect any of the Derelict Sites Levies that were issued for 2021 and 2022. This levy is imposed by the local authority on the owners of sites or buildings that are in disrepair and detract from the overall appearance of an area. The amount levied for 2022 was €19,250 with zero collected and for 2021 it was €26,950, again with zero collected by the council. These figures were provided to Deputy Matthews following a parliamentary question to the Department of Local Government.

Discussing the issue, Deputy Matthews said:

“The lack of urgency in addressing derelict sites and buildings across Wicklow is hugely frustrating. It is unconscionable in the middle of a housing crisis that we have viable sites that are lying idle with zero repercussions for the owners. Frankly, even the amount levied is a drop in the ocean when compared to the reality of derelict in towns and villages across Wicklow. It shows a lack of urgency and forward planning on the part of Wicklow County Council in addressing this issue and while I wasn’t shocked to read the statistics, it is still incredibly disappointing.

“If you walk around any town in Wicklow, you will soon recognise the level dereliction and the challenges that we face to address it. I believe that the charge on those who chose to leave sites and buildings derelict should be much higher and I have raised this on a series of occasions in the Dáil but if Wicklow County Council are failing to collect a single cent in two years, the hill is much steeper than it needs to be.

“Re-purposing vacant and derelict buildings will increase access to affordable housing, create more spaces for remote working and provide hubs for the delivery of community services. This is one of the cheapest and most environmentally sustainable ways of addressing the housing crisis and bringing life and vibrancy back to our towns and villages in Wicklow and across the country.

“I launched the Dereliction and Building Regeneration Bill last year and this is an issue that I have prioritised as a TD. If enacted, will introduce strong measures to activate vacant homes, derelict buildings and make it easier to convert over-the-shop spaces into residential units. I will have the opportunity in the coming weeks to debate my Bill directly with the Minister for Housing and I hope to see genuine legislative progress to tackle this issue. I will need the support of Wicklow County Council in terms of enforcement and collection of levies, and I look forward to working with them directly to address any blockages in their systems”, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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