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Thread: Derelict Sites Act & NAMA

  1. #1

    Default Derelict Sites Act & NAMA

    From Derelict Sites Act, 1990


    Derelict Sites Act, 1990, Section 3

    Definition of derelict site.
    3.—In this section "derelict site" means any land (in this section referred to as "the land in question") which detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question because of—
    ( a ) the existence on the land in question of structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous condition, or
    ( b ) the neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition of the land or any structures on the land in question, or
    ( c ) the presence, deposit or collection on the land in question of any litter, rubbish, debris or waste, except where the presence, deposit or collection of such litter, rubbish, debris or waste results from the exercise of a right conferred statute or by common law.
    It would appear to me that many ghost estates, both commercial and residential, built to varying degrees and with much construction materials still in situ, now legally fall into the category of Derelict Site under the Act. AT least, that could be easily argued to be the case

    So, under PART II Section 8 of the same Act,

    8.—(1) Every local authority shall, within one year after the commencement of this Act, establish and thereafter maintain a register to be known as "the derelict sites register" and which is referred to in this Act as "the register" and shall enter on to the register—
    ( a ) particulars of any land in their functional area which, in their opinion, is a derelict site,
    ( b ) the name and address of each owner and occupier, where these can be ascertained by reasonable enquiry,
    ( c ) particulars of any action taken by the local authority under this Act or under any other enactment in relation to the site,
    ( d ) in the case of land owned or occupied by a local authority, particulars of the use, if any, which is being made of the land and particulars of any purpose for which the land is intended to be used,
    ( e ) particulars of the market value of urban land as determined by the local authority, or by the Tribunal on appeal, in accordance with the provisions of section 22, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.
    Are the Local Authoritiess intending to now add these NAMA sites (and indeed non-NAMA sites) to their Derelict Sites Register ?

    If so, will they apply the Derelict Sites Levy ?

    Derelict Sites Act, 1990, Section 23

    AND


    Derelict sites and dangerous structures-Information from CitizensInformation.ie


    Derelict sites levy


    The owners of all urban land that has been entered into the Derelict Sites Register must pay an annual levy to their local authority. This levy amounts to 3% of the market value of the land concerned or in respect of any subsequent such year, such amount not exceeding 10%, as may stand prescribed for each urban area or if there is no such amount prescribed, 3% of the said market value. The levy only applies to urban land but under the terms of the Derelict Sites Act, 1990, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government can prescribe any area to be an urban area, as long as it is not part of a county or other borough.

    Also, if these sites are added to the Derelict Sites Register, isn’t the Local Authority open to litigation due to injury or damage ..

    Derelict sites and dangerous structures-Information from CitizensInformation.ie

    If District Court Orders Under Section 8 of the Local Government Sanitary Services Act 1964 concerning dangerous structures are not entered into the Register of Orders within 10 days after the order was made, they are no longer valid. Declaring a structure dangerous can leave the local authority open to the possibility of litigation if any injury or damage results from a structure that is known by the authority to be dangerous and has been registered as such. Even if the local authority does not own the dangerous structure, it could be liable for failing to ensure that it is made safe.



    Anyone got any opinions on this ?
    Redacted.

  2. #2
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    Very interesting post mate - well done in putting it together - will have a thorough read of this later.

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    It won't fall under the Derelict Act because the Dáil doesn't view them as derelict properties. No one's going to challenge it in court. In the unlikely event that it was brought to court, the Dáil would just put through new legislation excluding NAMA locations from the act.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Yes, very interesting post and it raises a lot of questions/concerns.

    Regarding 'ghost' estates, if these are listed as 'Derelict or Dangerous' and incur levies or charges, will these levies and charges fall back onto the taxpayer via NAMA?

    With city/town buildings that are not adequately maintained, is there provision for enforced maintenance or compulsory acquisition?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by consultant View Post
    Regarding 'ghost' estates, if these are listed as 'Derelict or Dangerous' and incur levies or charges, will these levies and charges fall back onto the taxpayer via NAMA?
    If NAMA become the legal owners of the sites, then I guess NAMA would be liable for the levy ... if it ever came to that, which it probably never will.
    Nevertheless, the legislation seems quite clear on the matter.

    Perhaps another case of ignoring legislation when it doesn't suit ?

    With city/town buildings that are not adequately maintained, is there provision for enforced maintenance or compulsory acquisition?
    My understanding is that enforced maintenance is possible via a court order but can take 2-3 years to get this order. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong ..
    Redacted.

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    Default The Minister can direct the council to take action

    Power of Minister to give a direction. 12. —The Minister may—
    [GA] ( a ) direct a local authority to serve a notice under section 11 (1), in relation to a derelict site which is included in the register, or
    [GA] ( b ) direct a local authority to take such steps as he considers reasonable and necessary to give effect to the terms of a notice served under section 11 (1), or
    [GA] ( c ) direct a local authority to take such steps as may be specified by him so as to prevent any land owned or occupied by them from becoming or continuing to be a derelict site,
    [GA] and it shall be the duty of the local authority to comply with the direction within such period as may be specified by the Minister

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    It won't fall under the Derelict Act because the Dáil doesn't view them as derelict properties. No one's going to challenge it in court. In the unlikely event that it was brought to court, the Dáil would just put through new legislation excluding NAMA locations from the act.
    Probably right, however for people living on or in the vicinity of these sites, it may be an avenue for these people to get some of the issues addressed.
    At least getting unused building materials removed and dangerous ground made safe might be a start. At minimum it could allow people to be on the record as having asked the LA to register the sites as derelict.
    Redacted.

  8. #8

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    Interesting blogpost on this issue here:
    Ireland Property - Daft Property! Irish Property and Real Estate News - Dublin Webcam Tour: Ghost Town...

    At the same meeting it emerged that South Dublin County Council has 3,789 houses in 23 developments that have not been completed. The council will now write to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, to carry out the review.

    "I think it is time considering the likely dereliction of vast swathes of Nama land," Cllr Looney said.

    He pointed to local examples of derelict land -- such as the former McHugh's shopping centre site at Greenhills, Tallaght.

    "We are left with the neglect, the eyesore, the dumping and the rats," he said. "Up until recently we also suffered vast scrawls of graffiti, an unsecured entrance, antisocial behaviour within the site and the danger of bonfires at Hallowe'en. This council called for the provision of a brick wall at the site. Instead, the developer threw up a few sheets of MDF hoarding in a job that would make a cowboy builder blush."

    Cllr Looney said the existing legislation -- the 1990 Derelict Sites Act -- had failed "miserably" to protect communities.

    "The legislation is clearly pro-developer and anti-community," he said.
    I'm still not sure if an LA can register a site as derelict by itself or if it requires the Minister to direct it be registered.
    Redacted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvotingMachine0197 View Post


    I'm still not sure if an LA can register a site as derelict by itself or if it requires the Minister to direct it be registered.
    The LA adds the sites to the register but before it does that it has to notify the owner. They (the LA) tell the owner what would be required to resolve the dereliction. The owner then has 14 days to respond and the LA can revoke the order based on those representations.

    Key problem is that the majority of NAMA sites are probably not considered "derelict" under the terms of the act and therefore it won't apply to them.

    That said, I'm sure some LA's will look to target some of the particularly bad sites.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    It won't fall under the Derelict Act because the Dáil doesn't view them as derelict properties. No one's going to challenge it in court. In the unlikely event that it was brought to court, the Dáil would just put through new legislation excluding NAMA locations from the act.
    Sync, I had to come back to this post, I've been thinking about it on and off.

    Whether the Dáil views these sites as derelict or not is largely irrelevant for the time being. What is relevant is whether the people who live near or in these sites regard them as derelict.

    In other words, the interpretation of our Statutes is not the exclusive business of our Dáil members, but is open to every citizen.

    In the unlikely event that it was brought to court, the Dáil would just put through new legislation excluding NAMA locations from the act.
    If that were to happen then that would be scary.

    No one's going to challenge it in court.
    Well, maybe they don't have to. Maybe, all they have to do is ring up their local Council and report a site/building as being derelict (in their opinion)?

    Galway CityC are inviting such reports from the public.

    Galway City Council - Derelict Sites

    The legal definition of a dereliction is fairly vague but simple within the statute linked in the OP. It will take a considerable amount of squirming for LAs to avoid these lands and buildings being registered, especially so if they come under significant petition from local residents etc ..
    Redacted.

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