WESTPORT has almost half of the vacant sites in the county with 12 plots of land lying idle which were once targeted for development. That is according to Mayo County Council’s Vacant Sites Register which reveals there are 25 such plots of land throughout the county with the north Mayo capital Ballina coming in second with nine. Significantly, there are only four in county town, Castlebar.
Among the vacant Westport sites included on the register are: undeveloped lands within Glenara Park Estate, Carrowbeg; greenfield site west of Cedar Court on the Newport Road; and a greenfield site on the southern side of the Quay Road at Cloonmonad and adjacent to Westlands Estate.
The Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 stipulates that all local authorities must establish a Vacant Sites Register. Sites are eligible for inclusion when they have been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding entry on the register. The local authority may then impose a levy on those owners who fail to develop prime housing land in their ownership. The levy is set at three percent of the land’s value and will be charged on such sites from this year but not payable until 2019. Property owners have 28 days to object to their site being included on the register, with another 28 days to appeal the decision if the council declines to remove it.