Under the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, each local authority will have to compile a register of lands in its area that are suitable for housing but are not coming forward for development. On January 1st 2017, these registers were established and a vacant site levy will be charged from January 2019 onwards.
What is a Vacant Site?
The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 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 (i.e. vacant) for an extended period of time
- In the case of regeneration land, the majority of the site has not been in use (i.e. vacant) for an extended period of time and where the fact that the site being vacant is having a negative impact on existing amenities or on the character of the area.
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. All vacant sites considered for entry on the register in County Longford are considered under the definition of regeneration land outlined above.
Regeneration Land is land within areas where the Planning Authority has an objective to development and renew areas in need of regeneration. In the case of Longford County Council, all vacant sites are included within the regeneration area defined in the Longford Town and Environs Local Area Plan, adopted in September 2016.
On January 1st 2017, Longford County Council established a Vacant Sites Register which identifies sites within the regeneration area that fall within the definition of a vacant site under the Act.
As set out in Section 8 of the Urban and Regeneration Housing Act 2015, each vacant site placed on the Register includes 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.
The Vacant Sites Register is available for inspection at the offices of Longford County Council, Great Water St. Planning Counter during normal opening hours. An Excel spread sheet of the sites is included below: