600 vacant and unused prime sites identified by Dublin City Council
Government announcement on vacant site levy expected shortly
A derelict site on Cork Street, Dublin 8, one of the Dublin City Council sites in the city that remain unused. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
More than 600 vacant sites and parcels of unused prime city- centre development land
have been identified by an audit to be published by Dublin City Council in the coming weeks.
The audit has been prepared ahead of an expected announcement by the Government on the introduction of a levy on vacant sites.
Government secretary general Martin Fraser, the State’s most senior civil servant, is heading a task force examining the introduction of a levy on vacant development lands.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn, who last summer proposed the levy to combat “land hoarding” in the city, said its introduction was a matter of urgency.
“I would be expecting, reasonably early in the new year, a statement of principle from Government that they are in favour of the levy,” he said.
Concerns are mounting that while the construction market is becoming viable again, particularly in Dublin, land is not being released for development and land hoarding is artificially driving up prices.
“The levy would get rid of the short-term speculator who does nothing with the land but sits on it with the intention of flipping it in two or three years following a rise in value,” Mr Quinn said.
A levy would not be a money- making scheme, he added.
“This levy will be most successful if zero money is taken,” he said.