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Dereliction: GDPR is restricting City Hall

Thursday, 11th July, 2019 9:48am

Data protection could be hindering City Hall from finding the owners of derelict sites within the organisation itself.

In a report on dereliction, officials said that ownership details can be, at times, not easily attainable including getting information from other sections of Cork City Council.

This report said: “While one part of Cork City Council may hold details of property ownership like the Rates Section, this information cannot shared with Derelict Sites (section) due to GDPR legislation.”

The document was given to councillors at Monday’s meeting of Cork City Council and gave an overview of what City Hall plans to do to tackle dereliction in city.

There are 100 sites on the derelict sites list currently in Cork city and City Hall management, at Monday’s meeting, provided information on their status:
 • Owner is currently carrying out works to remove the dereliction – 15
 • Grant of planning permission or site is in planning process – 13
 • Being considered for social housing - 10
 • New owner or for sale – 11
 • Recently added to the register – 11
 • Sold by Cork City Council subject to the dereliction being removed – 3
 • Recommended for compulsory acquisition – 10
 • No action by the owner and will be considered for the next tranche of compulsory acquisitions – 15
 • Other various circumstances – 12

City Hall officials say they are in a position now to take an even stronger stance on dereliction and have several plans in place to combat it. This includes reinforcing the message of ‘do it up or sell it on’. Officials say that holding onto buildings without maintaining them is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated by them anymore.

They say they will also compulsorily acquire properties where the owner is incapable or unwilling to remove dereliction.

North Main Street

During the same meeting, councillors were given an update on 62 North Main Street, where stabilisation works began on Tuesday morning. A report from City Hall said it was unknown how long these works would take and that it was working with the owners of 62, 63 and 64 to resolve the issues.

Number 62 partially collapsed on 20 June and after an inspection that evening and the following morning, it was confirmed that the internal walls and most of the back wall had come down.

Councillors had lots to say about dereliction in general at the meeting.

Historian and Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy said: “It’s an absolute disgrace that some owners have left their properties get to such a state. I have a huge problem with land owners who have no civic responsibility. Shame on the land owners who are letting them rot.

“I would like to see a team of us go to Dáil Éireann to tell them we’ve an issue with dereliction and what can we do if we had the money.”

Solidarity Cllr Fiona Ryan said she wanted City Hall to calculate how much it would cost to compulsory purchase the building that are close to collapsing or have been idle for ten years or more. Lorna Bogue of the Green Party also wanted to know these costings while her party colleague Dan Boyle believed that there was an obligation on City Hall to do more to tackle dereliction. Speaking about building owners who weren’t looking after their properties, he said: “Many of these people are traitors to our city.”

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