No de­vel­oper pre­pared to build in Sligo: Mayor

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

THE lack of pri­vate devel­op­ment in Sligo was a mat­ter of “grave con­cern”, Sligo Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict’s Septem­ber meet­ing heard.

Mayor of Sligo Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict, Coun­cil­lor Hu­bert Keaney said he had “grave con­cerns that there are no de­vel­op­ers in Sligo pre­pared to build.”

“There are peo­ple buy­ing up houses. These peo­ple have the money to buy the sites but are not pre­pared to start any­thing,” he said.

“This is not a po­lit­i­cal thing. It’s the sys­tem that we have in place that’s stop­ping peo­ple de­liv­er­ing on projects.”

“We have a huge prob­lem get­ting projects off the ground,” he said, adding that the pro­cesses were “un­work­able” in re­la­tion to de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

He was agree­ing with com­ments made ear­lier by Coun­cil Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ciarán Hayes.

He told mem­bers that there were only two hous­ing es­tates be­ing built in the county right now, and none in Sligo town, apart from the Coun­cil’s Fr O’Flana­gan Ter­race devel­op­ment.

“To have a prop­erly func- tion­ing hous­ing mar­ket you need all sec­tors op­er­at­ing ap­pro­pri­ately.”

“Part of the so­lu­tion is the con­struc­tion of new houses. It’s is not the only so­lu­tion, but it is part of it,” said Mr Hayes.

“The dif­fi­cul­ties in Dublin, Cork and other big cities are not be­ing felt in Sligo.

“We have a Hous­ing Depart­ment mov­ing to bring voids (va­cant houses) back into use.

“We’ve been us­ing up our la­tent sup­ply,” he said.

He said the coun­cil had also bought houses in the last year or two, all of which al­lowed them to deal with the hous­ing wait­ing list.

There are cur­rently 612 fam­i­lies on the hous­ing wait­ing list, with an­other 396 ap­proved for Hous­ing As­sis­tance Pay­ments (HAP).

Mr Hayes warned that there needed to be on­go­ing growth in both the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor.

“The so­lu­tion is not solely so­cial hous­ing,” he said. “There is no overnight fix. It is very im­por­tant that the pri­vate sec­tor is also ac­tive in the hous­ing sec­tor.

Mayor of Sligo Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict Cllr Hu­bert Keaney.

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