Vacant Site Register

 

In accordance with the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015, all Planning Authorities are required to establish and maintain a Vacant Sites Register.  The current register is available to view below. Work is ongoing on this register and additional sites may be added in due course and the Register updated.

 

Register of vacant sites

(1) Every planning authority shall, beginning on 1 January 2017, establish and maintain a register to be known as the vacant sites register

(2) A planning authority shall enter on the register a description, including a map, of any site in its functional area which was, in the opinion of the planning authority, a vacant site for the duration of the 12 months preceding the date of entry.

(3) The register shall be kept at the offices of the planning authority and shall be available for inspection at the offices of the planning authority during office hours and on the planning authority’s website.

(4) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall determine whether or not there was a need for housing in an area within the planning authority’s functional area for the purposes of this Part by reference to—

(a) the housing strategy and the core strategy of the planning authority,

(b) house prices and the cost of renting houses in the area,

(c) the number of households qualified for social housing support in accordance with section 20 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 that have specified the area as an area of choice for the receipt of such support and any changes to that number

(d) whether the number of habitable houses available for purchase or rent was less than 5 per cent of the total number of houses in the area.

(5) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall determine whether or not a site was suitable for the provision of housing for the purposes of this Part by reference to—

(a) the core strategy,

(b) whether the site was served by the public infrastructure and facilities (within the meaning of section 48 of the Act of 2000) necessary to enable housing to be provided and serviced, and

(c) whether there was any thing affecting the physical condition of the land comprising the site which might affect the provision of housing.

(6) A planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall determine whether or not the site being vacant or idle has adverse effects on existing amenities or reduces the amenity provided by existing public infrastructure and facilities (within the meaning of section 48 of the Act of 2000) in the area in which the site is situated or has adverse affects on the character of the area for the purposes of this Part by reference to whether—

(a) land or structures in the area were, or are, in a ruinous or neglected condition,

(b) anti-social behaviour was or is taking place in the area, or

(c) there has been a reduction in the number of habitable houses, or the number of people living, in the area, and whether or not these matters were affected by the existence of such vacant or idle land.

(7) In determining for the purposes of this Part whether a site was vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned a planning authority, or the Board on appeal, shall not have regard to any unauthorised development or unauthorised use.

 

Procedure for entry on register

(1) Before entering a site on the register a planning authority shall give written notice to the owner of the site setting out the reasons for the proposed entry and the owner may make submissions in respect of the proposed entry to the planning authority in writing within 28 days after the date of such notice.

(2) Where a planning authority receives submissions in accordance with subsection (1) it shall consider those submissions and if it is of the opinion that the site was a vacant site for the duration of the 12 months concerned and continues to be a vacant site it shall enter the site on the register in accordance with section 6(2) of the Act. .

(3) The planning authority shall give written notice to the owner of a vacant site when it is entered on the register.

(4) A notice under subsection (3) shall notify the owner that there shall be charged and levied for each year beginning with 2018 in respect of each vacant site in relation to which a market value has been determined and that stands entered on the register a levy in accordance with section 15.

 

Entry on register

A planning authority shall enter the following information on the register in respect of each vacant site—

(a) in the case of a site referred to in Section 6(2) of the Act that comprises registered land within the meaning of the Registration of Title Act 1964, the property ownership folio reference attaching to such land,

(b) the name and address of the owner of the site referred to in Section 6(2) of the Act

(c) particulars of the market value of the site referred to in Section 6(2) of the Act as determined by the planning authority, or by the Tribunal on appeal, in accordance with section 12, and

(d) such other information referred to in this Act as the Minister may prescribe.

 

Appeal against entry on register

(1) The owner of a site that is entered on the register under Section 6(2) of the Act may appeal against such entry to the Board within 28 days after the date of the notice given to him or her under section 7(3) of the Act.

(2) On an appeal under this section the burden of showing that the site, or a majority of the site, was not vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned is on the owner of the site.

(3) Where the Board determines that a site was not vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned or was no longer a vacant site on the date on which the site was entered on the register in accordance with section 6(2) it shall give written notice to the planning authority who shall cancel the entry on the register in respect of that site.

(4) Where the owner of a vacant site appeals under subsection (1) against the entry of a site on the register the entry shall not take effect until the appeal is finally determined.

(5) Where an appeal under subsection (1) against an entry of a site on the register is unsuccessful or is withdrawn the entry shall be deemed to have effect from the date on which the site was entered under section 6(2).

 

Obligation to owners to notify

(1) The owner of a vacant site that stands entered on the register under section 6(2) shall notify the planning authority in whose functional area the site is located if it is no longer vacant or idle.

(2) If, at any time, a planning authority is satisfied that a site that stands entered on the register under section 6(2) is no longer a vacant site it shall cancel the entry on the register in respect of that site.

 

Notice to owners of sites on register

(1) Every planning authority shall, before 1 June 2018, or such later date in that year as the Minister may specify by order, give a written notice to the owner of any vacant site that stands entered on the register on 1 January 2018—

(a) stating that the site stands entered on the register,

(b) setting out such matters as are entered in the register in respect of the site,

(c) stating that there shall be charged and levied for each year beginning with 2018 in respect of each vacant site in relation to which a market value has been determined and that stands entered on the register a levy in accordance with section 15, and

(d) informing the owner that he or she may make submissions in respect of the entry to the planning authority in writing within 28 days after the date of such notice.

(2) Where a planning authority receives submissions in accordance with a notice under subsection (1) it shall consider those submissions and if it is satisfied that the site is no longer a vacant site it shall cancel the entry on the register in respect of that site.

(3) Where a planning authority receives submissions in respect of a site in accordance with a notice under subsection (1) and after considering those submissions does not cancel the entry on the register in respect of the site it shall give written notice to the owner and the owner may appeal that decision to the Board within 28 days after the date of the notice.

(4) On an appeal under this section the burden of showing that the site, or a majority of the site, is no longer a vacant site shall be on the owner of the site.

(5) Where the Board determines that a site is no longer a vacant site it shall give written notice to the planning authority who shall cancel the entry on the register in respect of that site.