BALLINROBE has 18 registered derelict sites - a statistic described as ‘alarming’ by a local public representative.
An update on the number of derelict sites in Mayo County Council’s Claremorris electoral area, which includes Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis, was given to councillors at a committee meeting.
Senior executive officer Mr. Padraig Flanagan revealed there are 18 sites registered in Ballinrobe, five in Ballyhaunis, and three in Claremorris.
Mr. Flanagan outlined the actions being taken by the council in respect of each individual site. Discussions are ongoing with some owners while others, who have received warning letters due to their inactivity to address issues, could now face the imposition of a levy of three per cent of the value of their property.
There are, he continued, two main sites that are causing concern and where notices have been served. Due processes had to be gone through and it does take time.
Councillor Michael Burke said the council was going to reach a point in the next couple of months where they were going to have to make decisions and take a firm stand.
Some people were making efforts, he noted, and others had difficulties, but some were blackguarding the system.
Councillor Patsy O’Brien noted how ownership of one site in Ballinrobe was being queried yet the dogs on the street seemed to know the Revenue Commissioners owned it.
That should be looked at immediately. They were part of the state and should not be allowed leave a property as it was.
Councillor Damien Ryan noted the largest number of derelict sites was in Ballinrobe and that was ‘an alarming statistic’. He wanted to see that number brought down sooner rather than later.
One or two buildings, he noted, could bring down the whole character of an area and that was disheartening for voluntary groups who are doing great work.
NAMA, too, came under the spotlight with Councillor Richard Finn stating that some properties in Claremorris were under the control of the agency but were not on the list before them.
“Is NAMA above the law?” he asked. “I want to see that the likes of NAMA and the banks who have an interest in these properties are held responsible.”