There are currently 57 properties on a derelict sites register maintained by Kerry County Council, three of which are in the Killarney municipal district.
There are 23 derelict sites in Tralee, nine in Kenmare, seven in Listowel and a combined 15 in Castleisland and Corca Dhuibhne.
The register covers any site that detracts to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood.
The dereliction term includes structures which are in a ruinous, derelict, or dangerous condition or are in neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition.
The presence, deposit or collection of litter, rubbish, debris or waste is another factor taken into consideration under the regulations.
Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Marie Moloney, raised the matter and asked what the council was doing to take ownership of these houses and refurbish them for use to reduce the housing list.
Officials said responsibility to clean up or make safe a derelict site is with the owner of the property but Kerry County Council is very cognisant of the impact that derelict properties have on the appearance of our towns and village.
“Good progress has been made in the past number of years in addressing derelict properties around the county and this work will continue,” a spokesperson said.
The council acknowledged that a number of long-running cases need to be considered for compulsory purchase orders.
“While there are currently no properties in the process of being compulsorily acquired, there will be consideration given to engaging in the CPO process in the context of the emerging Town Centre First policy and the policies being developed under the Housing for All framework.
“As part of this process, in addition to the derelict sites officer, there will be a dedicated unit established to advance, in more detail, vacant and derelict sites in the county,” officials stated.
In advance of the acquisition of derelict sites, the council must be cognisant of a number of issues, including cost of acquisition, costs of refurbishment, future uses of the buildings, contribution to site amalgamation and their overall impact on the vitality of the areas in which they are situated.
“While CPO is one vehicle for dealing with dereliction in the county, it is a facility that will have to have a limited and focused impact,” the council said.
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