There are up to 18 buildings in Ballinrobe town on the Derelict Sites register according to local councillor Damien Ryan.
They are in the Glebe Street, Convent Road, Cornmarket, New Street, Bridge Street and Creagh Road areas.
Two sites have been added to the register in Claremorris since the beginning of October and Mayo County Council are involved in ongoing correspondence with the owners of one major derelict building in Ballyhaunis. There are three other derelict sites on the register in Ballyhaunis a meeting of the Claremorris electoral area was told this week, as well as one in Shrule and a couple in Knock.
However, Ballyhaunis Fine Gael representative John Cribbin expressed concerns about the lack of work being carried out on the major derelict premises in Claremorris despite commitments being given to the local business community by the owner.
A representative of the council’s roads department, Imelda O’Donnell, explained that the owners have to be given time to carry out certain works. She said they were issued a section 11 in October which outlined the exact works required and clarification was sought by the owner in relation to this. She confirmed the owner was getting quotes in relation to the necessary works. She assured Cllr Cribbin that the works were being addressed but they had to follow due process.
Claremorris independent councillor Richard Finn complimented the local people who responded “so well” to council requests to update derelict buildings. He also said he was glad the council treated these people in such a “humanitarian” way.
However, Ballinrobe area councillor Michael Burke expressed concern that some property owners would not progress works on their sites in the same way others had already done. He said owners would be delighted for Mayo County Council to take the buildings off them but he pointed out the finance was not available for that to happen.
Cllr Damien Ryan said it would be his preferred option for the council to get a valuation of the derelict sites and levy the owners three per cent of the value of the property which could then be used to carry out necessary works.
The director of services for the Claremorris and Ballinrobe area Mr Seamus Granahan said the council wouldn’t be rushing in to purchase sites under the Derelict Sites Act.