A Kerry County Councillor is calling on the council to impose levies on derelict and vacant sites in Tralee.
Cllr Deirdre Ferris made the call at the recent meeting of Tralee Municipal District.
Cllr Ferris says the imposition of the levies would encourage property owners to rent or develop them.
In response to Cllr Ferris’ motion, Kerry County Council says statutory powers are available to encourage the reuse of derelict and vacant properties.
These are the Derelict Sites Act 1990, and the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, which both allow levies to be imposed on derelict or vacant sites.
The council says, however, that this legislation is difficult to use.
Cllr Ferris’ motion was seconded by Cllr Johnnie Wall, who asked if units in the Tralee Arcade could be acquired by Kerry County Council for accommodation purposes.
Cllr Cathal Foley also added that there are opportunities for Kerry County Council to develop derelict properties that are for sale.
Michael Scannell, manager of the Tralee Municipal District, replied that the council is looking at derelict properties for social housing and other purposes.
He added that the council has made a strong submission for funding to the Urban Regeneration Development Fund, in order to acquire derelict properties.
A response to this application is expected soon.
This followed an earlier motion by Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Terry O’Brien, which called for an updated derelict sites database.
Kerry County Council says a review of the derelict sites is currently being compiled.