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Derelict Sites

Waterford City and County Council are responsible for dealing with derelict sites in Co. Waterford.  The Local Authority investigate reports of dereliction and undertakes action in accordance with the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

Waterford City and County Council’s Role

A Derelict Site means any land 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 the following:

  • The existence on the land of structures which are in a ruinous, derelict or dangerous state; or,
  • The neglected, unsightly or objectionable condition of the land or any structures on the land in question; or,
  • 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 results from the exercise of a right conferred by or under statute or by common law, or licence.

The Act allows local authorities to:

  • Include a derelict site on the Derelict Sites Register
  • Serve a notice on the owner specifying works to be carried out to prevent or stop dereliction, or placing of the site on the Derelict Sites Register
  • Carry out the necessary works themselves and charge the site owner(s) for the cost
  • Impose an annual levy of 7% of the market value on any derelict site in an urban area
  • Acquire a derelict site by agreement or compulsory purchase order

What is on the Derelict Sites Register ?

A Derelict Sites Register must be kept by each local authority.  The register contains:

  • The location of each derelict site
  • The name and address of the owner and occupier
  • The current market value of each site (such calculations are carried out by the local authority or by an authorised agent)
  • Any action taken by the local authority in relation to the site

What qualifies as a Derelict Site ?

A site can be classified as ‘derelict’ if it :

  • Contains land or structures that are in a neglected or unsightly condition.
  • It contains dangerous or ruinous structures.
  • It has accumulated a lot of litter or other waste due to the vacant nature of the site and/or illegal public dumping.

What are some of the indicators of dereliction?

  • Broken, missing, or boarded up windows
  • Partially demolished/ ruinous building(s)
  • Dirty façade/peeling paint
  • Graffiti
  • Loose masonry or falling plaster/ holes in roof
  • Plants growing out of masonry or roof
  • Unsecured entrances, trespass, or squatters
  • Missing/broken/leaking rainwater gutters or downpipes
  • Rotten timber
  • Litter / Illegal dumping accumulations
  • Unsightly boundaries (damaged hoarding, etc.)

What are the responsibilities as an owner/occupier of a derelict site?
Section 9 of the Derelict Sites Act 1990, establishes it is the duty of every owner and occupier of land to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the land does not become or continue to be derelict.

What happens if my property is identified as derelict ?

In the event that your property/land is identified as a derelict site, Waterford City & County Council can advise you regarding statutory notices and the necessary repairs required, to comply with the law.

If these works are not carried out within an agreed timeframe, your property/land may be added to the Derelict Sites Register. Inclusion on this Register may lead to a levy being imposed or in some cases a compulsory purchase of the property or land.

Landowners and occupiers should be aware that under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, it is an offence to:

  • Remove, damage or deface any statutory notice posted by the local authority on, or regarding, a derelict site
  • Fail to carry out the measures required to prevent a property from being classed as derelict within an agreed timeframe
  • Fail to notify the local authority of the transfer of land or interest in land from one person to another. Both parties must notify the local authority in writing within four weeks of the transfer
  • Fail to notify the local authority of the transfer of land or interest in land by will or an intestacy. The new owner must notify the local authority in writing within six months and the representative of the person under whose will or upon whose intestacy the transfer occurred must notify the local authority in writing within two months
  • Prevent an authorised person from entering or carrying out authorised business on any land for any purpose connected with the Derelict Sites Act 1990

For further information please contact :

How do I report a Derelict Site?

Members of the public can identify potential Derelict Sites and report same to the Council.

To do this, read the “Guidance for Derelict Sites complaints” document below and then fill out the “Derelict Sites Complaint Form”.

Guidance for Derelict Sites complaints Derelict Sites Complaint Form

Waterford City and County Council will investigate your complaint. If a site qualifies as derelict, but it is considered that issues can be easily remedied within a relatively short timeframe, the Council will seek to work with the property owner.

In other instances, the Council may serve a legal notice requiring works to be carried out, add the property to the Derelict Sites Register (which results in a 7% annual levy on the market value of the property).

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