Hand city units over to developers, says Limerick councillor

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

CITY councillor Joe Leddin wants the council to offer empty units to private developers who had plans that “would contribute to the redevelopment of the centre”.

CITY councillor Joe Leddin wants the council to offer empty units to private developers who had plans that “would contribute to the redevelopment of the centre”.

Speaking at last week’s economic special policy committee meeting, Cllr Leddin believes the council should use the property it owns to bring investment here.

He urged the new economic director Tom Enright to engage with private organisations immediately.

“We have as a city council strategic sites and buildings within our ownership and we should offer these sites to potential developers if their plans are acceptable and in line with our city centre redevelopment strategy. Some of the sites owned by the city council are laying derelict for years and are making no contribution to the economic life of the city. By offering these sites to developers we are removing static derelict under used sites and buildings while simultaneously contributing to the provision of services and facilities to the public,” Cllr Leddin contended.

With a reduction in development levies next year, Cllr Leddin added this will encourage developers.

He also wants City Council to use the powers it has under Compulsory Purchase Legislation to buy buildings and sites where no effort has been made for the owners to maintain the properties.

For his part, Tom Enright has said the council needs to “embarrass” big name companies which leave shop premises vacant.

Many multi-national firms have left Limerick since the onset of the recession, leaving empty premises.

“It is sad to see wealthy companies with derelict properties that cast eyesores in the city. We need to embarrass them to make them do something with them, ” Mr Enright told councillors present at the meeting.