€2m fund to tackle vacancy and dereliction in Mayo towns

Funding of €2m has been allocated to Mayo County Council to target vacancy and dereliction in towns across the county.

Deputy Alan Dillon said he was delighted that this substantial funding has been allocated by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under Call 3 of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

Deputy Dillon said: “URDF Call 3 is specifically targeted at tackling vacancy and dereliction in cities and towns across the country with the dual benefit of improving streetscapes and providing additional housing.

‘Local authorities, including Mayo County Council, will acquire vacant or derelict properties which are either not on the market for sale or to which the market has not responded. They will then offer these properties for private sale to individuals who in return will commit to bringing the property into use as a home. Proceeds from the sale of these properties will ensure a rolling programme of acquisitions and disposals is in place.”

Deputy Dillon added this fund is extremely important in Mayo where there are currently 284 sites on the Derelict Sites Register.

“In one of our biggest Mayo towns (Ballina) there are 73 derelict sites registered as vacant and derelict. The second highest (Castlebar) has 29 derelict sites.

A dedicated officer has been employed by Mayo County Council to address the issue of dereliction by engaging with owners of these buildings, issuing statutory notices and placing these sites on the register.

Last year alone, just seven sites were removed from the register but many more replaced them. Just four buildings throughout Mayo were advanced through Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and are at Vesting Order Stage.

I am delighted that this funding has now been allocated to assist the council in acquiring these unsightly building and bringing them back to life.”