Progress made in putting vacant homes back in use

by Patrick Finnegan
Mayor Mark Ward and local representative William Carey at the homes on Station Grove

Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Mark Ward, has cautiously welcomed news that some progress has been made to bring six vacant homes on Station Grove in Clondalkin back into a habitual state.

However he warns that the time for talking is over after these six homes have been vacant now for 12 years.

Mayor Ward said: “I highlighted this issue recently of 12 vacant homes lying idle on Station Grove for the last 12 years. Since then, I tabled the following motion at the Clondalkin Area Committee.

“Six vacant houses on Station Grove, Clondalkin lying idle for 12 years is a disgrace in relation to the housing crisis.

“This Area Committee instructs the chief executive to immediately start the process to compulsory purchase these potential homes and to present a report on this process for discussion at the meeting.

“The initial response I got from the council was not good enough, so I sought clarification at the meeting.

“Based on this, I can now report that an interdepartmental approach is being taken in relation to the development at Station Grove.

“It is known that planning approval for the development of eight dwellings was originally granted in 2005 and was subsequently amended in 2007.

“A site inspection was recently undertaken and currently the development consists of six dwellings near completion and two further dwellings at foundation level.

“Under the National Vacant Homes Reuse Strategy, local authorities are to engage with stakeholders, in respect of unfinished housing developments.

“A number of strategic options are available to ensure that the council make the best use of existing housing stock (private and social).

“It was noted that, while members of the public can submit details of potential vacant properties through the public portal, the actual vacant homes register is not a public register.

“It was advised that many properties submitted by the public via the portal may be deemed NOT vacant following examination/enquiries made, and as such the public cannot access details of properties finally listed as vacant.

“The council is pro-actively seeking to engage with the legal owner of the site in the first instance to find a solution to bring these housing units into a habitable state.”

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