Under the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015 all planning authorities are required to establish and maintain a Vacant Sites Register. The Register is required to in place by January 2018. An identified vacant site can be entered on the register when the authority is of the opinion that it has been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding its entry on the register.
What is a Vacant Site?
The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 defines a vacant site as any land where:
In the case of residential land, there is a need for housing in the area, the site is suitable for housing and the majority of the site has not been in use (vacant or idle) for an extended period of time
In the case of regeneration land, the majority of the site has not been in use (vacant or idle) for an extended period of time and the site being vacant has a negative impact on existing amenities or on the character of the area.
Suitability for entry is also assessed under other criteria referenced in legislation.
An identified vacant site can be entered onto the register when the local authority is of the opinion that it has been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding its entry on the register.
Vacant Sites Register & Levy
For sites on the Vacant Sites Register in 2018, a levy is charged in 2019 and for every year thereafter unless the site is removed from the register. The levy for the first year of vacancy will be calculated at 3% of the market value of the site.
What information can be found on the Vacant Sites Register?
As set out in Section 8 of the Urban and Regeneration Housing Act 2015, each vacant site placed on the Register may include some of the following information:
- A description (including a map)
- Where the site comprises registered land, the folio details;
- The name and address of the owner;
- Particulars of the market value of the site; and
- Such other information referred to in the Act that the Minister may prescribe.
Additional information in relation to date of entry and location will also be provided for ease of reference.
Where can I find the Vacant Sites Register?
The Vacant Sites Register is available for inspection at the City Hall Planning Counter during normal opening hours. A spread sheet of the sites is included below.
For ease of reference, an on-line map viewer is being developed also.
When notified by the authority of its intention to include a site on the Vacant Sites Register, a property owner has the right to object and can make a submission to the planning authority within 28 days. If, having considered the submission, the authority is still of the view that it should be entered on the register, it must notify the property owner of same and the owner may within 28 days appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala (ABP). Entry on the register shall not take effect until the appeal is determined by ABP.
The authority must determine the market value of a vacant site as soon as after it is entered on the Vacant Sites Register and notify owner of same. The owner can appeal the valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days of the notice.
An owner of a vacant site who receives a demand for payment of the levy may appeal against same to ABP within 28 days of the date of the demand on grounds that the site is no longer vacant or that the calculation of the levy is incorrect. If ABP upholds the appeal, then either the entry shall be removed from the register and the demand cancelled or it will advise the authority of the correct amount of the levy and an amended demand will issue.