Dublin City Council’s Active Land Management Unit established the Vacant Sites Register, under the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015 (the Act), on 1st January 2017.
Identification of vacant sites
Sites are inspected, photographed and a report is prepared which includes a general description of the site and previous planning history if it exists.
An identified vacant site can be entered on the register when the Council is of the opinion that it has an area in excess of 0.05 hectares, is zoned for either residential or regeneration purposes and has been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding its entry on the register. Sites are assessed in more detail against the criteria set out in the Act which can be summarised as follows:
In the case of residential land the site is:
- Situated in an area in need of housing
- The site is suitable for the provision of housing and
- The site or the majority of the site is vacant or idle.
In the case of regeneration land:
- The site, or the majority of the site is vacant or idle and
- The site being vacant has an adverse effect on existing amenities or reduces the amenity provided by existing public infrastructure and facilities. It is also a requirement of the Act that for a site to be entered on the register details of ownership, title to the site and the market value pertaining to the site are also ascertained.
Procedure for entry on register
- Before entering a vacant site on the register the Council serves a notice of proposed entry to the Vacant Sites Register on the property owner
- The owner may make a submission within 28 days after the date of such notice outlining reasons why the site should not be considered vacant
- The Council will consider the points raised and if it is of the opinion that the site was vacant for the 12 months concerned and continues to be vacant it shall enter the site on the register
- Upon entry to the register the Council will serve a Notice of Entry on the owner
- The owner may appeal this entry to an Bord Pleanála within 28 days after the date of such notice
- 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
- Where an Bord Pleanála determines that a site was not vacant or idle for the duration of the 12 months concerned or was no longer vacant on the date on which it entered the register, it shall give written notice to the Council to cancel the entry
- Where an Bord Pleanála determine an appeal unsuccessful the entry to the register shall be deemed to have effect from the date on which the Council entered it
Market Valuation & Levy
The Council must determine the market value of a vacant site, as soon as possible after it is entered on the Vacant Sites Register and notify the owner of same. The owner may appeal the valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days after the date of such notice. Subject to the right of appeal on a point of law, the decision of the Tribunal is final.
The City Council must notify property owners before 1st June 2018 that their sites, which are on the register, shall be charged the vacant site's levy in respect of 2018 in January 2019 and every further year thereafter until the site is no longer vacant. The levy shall be payable in arrears each year beginning in 2019 by the owner of the vacant site that is entered on the register on 1st January of that year. The levy shall be payable on a demand being made by the Council and shall be calculated at 3% of the market value of the site.
The owner of a vacant site who receives a demand for payment of the levy may appeal against same to an Bord Pleanála within 28 days of the date of the demand, on grounds that the site is no longer vacant or that the calculation of the levy is incorrect. Where an Bord Pleanála upholds the appeal, then either the entry shall be removed from the register and the demand cancelled or it will advise the Council of the correct amount of the levy and an amended demand shall issue.
To view the Vacant Sites Register:
To view the register of Vacant Sites in Dublin City Council and to see the sites on a map, download the Vacant Sites Register.
Contact information for Planning Department
Contact information for Vacant Sites