Vacant Sites Register
In accordance with the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015, all Planning Authorities are required to establish and maintain a Vacant Sites Register. The current register is available to view below. Work is ongoing on this register and additional sites may be added on an annual basis and the Register updated.
The vacant site levy will be payable to the Council by the owner of a vacant site that stands entered on the Register on 1st January 2019. The levy will be payable in arrears each year, beginning in 2020 and will remain on the lands until it is no longer a vacant site as defined under the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015.
What is a Vacant Site?
Section 5 of the Act defines a Vacant Site.
In the case of Residential Lands, as lands where:
There is a need for housing in the area and the site is suitable for housing.
The site, or the majority of the site, is vacant or idle.
The site exceeds 0.05 hectares and the identified area does not contain a home.
In the case of Regeneration Lands, as lands where:
the site, or the majority of the site, is vacant or idle, and
the site being vacant or idle has adverse effects on existing amenities or reduces the amenity provided by existing public infrastructure and facilities in the area in which the site is situated or has adverse effects on the character of the area.
In accordance with the legislation, the entry onto the Register of Vacant Sites would mean that a site would be liable for an annual vacant site levy. The maximum site levy payable is 3% of the market value of the land. Where the site is subject to a loan the amount of the vacant site levy is to be reduced in accordance with the following bands:
If the outstanding amount of the loan is greater than the market value of the vacant site, the vacant site levy in respect of the site is 0%;
If the outstanding amount of the loan is greater than 75%, but less than 100%, of the market value of the vacant site, the vacant site levy in respect of that site is 0.75%; and
If the outstanding amount of the loan is greater than 50%, but less than 75% of the market value of the vacant site, the vacant site levy in respect of that site is 1.5%.
Information concerning entry on the Vacant Sites Register
The Planning Authority shall notify the registered Owner of the proposal to enter the site on the Register
The Owner can make a submission to the Planning Authority within 28 days from the date of the notice.
If the Planning Authority receives a submission it shall consider it. If it remains the opinion of the Planning Authority that it is a vacant site, it will enter it on the Register. A site must be vacant for the duration of 12 months preceding the date of entry.
If no submission is received, the site shall be entered on the Register.
Once entered on the Register
The Planning Authority will notify the Owner that the site has been entered on the Register.
The Owner can appeal the entry to An Bord Pleanala within 28 days.
Where the Bord determines the site is not vacant, they will notify the Planning Authority who will cancel the entry.
Determine Market Value:
The Planning Authority shall determine the Market Value of the Site.
The Owner will be notified of the valuation and advised of their right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.
The Tribunal will notify the Planning Authority of any amendments.
Appeal against entry on register
The owner of a site that is entered on the register under Section 6(2) of the Act may appeal against such entry to the Board within 28 days after the date of the notice given to him or her under Section 7(3) of the Act.
On an appeal under this section the burden of showing that the site, or a majority of the site, was not vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned is on the owner of the site.
Where the Board determines that a site was not vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned or was no longer a vacant site on the date on which the site was entered on the register in accordance with Section 6(2) it shall give written notice to the planning authority who shall cancel the entry on the register in respect of that site.
Where the owner of a vacant site appeals under Subsection (1) against the entry of a site on the register the entry shall not take effect until the appeal is finally determined.
Where an appeal under Subsection (1) against an entry of a site on the register is unsuccessful or is withdrawn the entry shall be deemed to have effect from the date on which the site was entered under Section 6(2).