Raising levies on vacant sites
Sir, – The recent proposal by Dublin City Council to introduce levies on vacant sites in the city are indeed much needed, given the number of spaces that are currently both a wasted opportunity for development, and an eyesore.
However, given the lack of suggestion from the council as to where the financial backing for the development of these sites will come, it would seem logical that the present owners of these sites will resort to the cheapest option available to them to avoid incurring financial penalty: surface car parks.
As identified by Olivia Kelly (Home News, August 5th), the council views this as “a poor use of central sites”, but if this is to remain within the boundaries of any legislation brought forward, it will make sense for land owners to turn their properties into car parks to hold on to their land without being fined. While many commuters may view a sudden increase in the number of parking spaces available in the city as a positive (particularly at a time when our public transport system is up on blocks), an increase in the number of vehicles on the city’s roads is a reversal of the strides made to reduce this, for the benefit of the population and the environment, in recent years.
If the council is to in any way improve the state of these vacant premises, the incentive must be in place to develop the sites with more capital than the cost of some tarmac and a high-vis jacket. – Yours, etc,