Derelict sites levy to be applied to landmark town centre building in Cork town

The former Central Hotel in Mallow.

John Bohane

A derelict sites levy will be applied on the former Central Hotel in Mallow next year an official with Cork County Council confirmed at a recent Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District meeting.

The landmark town centre building has lain idle since its doors closed in 2007 and it was issued with a derelict site order at the start of September this year. It was subsequently put on the register on Tuesday, October 3.

Fianna Fáil councillor Gearóid Murphy brought a motion before a recent MD meeting which sought an update on engagements with the owners of the Central Hotel site in Mallow.

Claire Barr the Municipal District Officer informed the meeting that a levy will be applied for 2024. “The owners of the property had a pre-planning meeting with Cork County Council Planning Department in late October in relation to their plans for the property. It is now up to the owner, the developer and their agent to respond appropriately having regard to the sensitive nature of the site. Cork County Council Planning Department are awaiting a response from the owners.

“In relation to the levies, as the property has been entered onto the derelict sites register Cork County Council will be applying the derelict sites levy on the property in 2024. From January 1 next year it is levied,” she added.

Senior Executive Officer Aidan Creagh outlined the process involved in the collection of levies. “We have not taken any action under the Dangerous Structures Legislation. If your property is on the derelict sites register you are subject to a derelict sites levy. The 7% is calculated by the Municipal District and they issue out a levy demand. If it is not paid, the only option is to revert to our own legal department in relation to payment.”

Mr Creagh also informed the members that an in-committee meeting in relation to derelict sites in the Kanturk/Mallow MD will be held in January.

“That site has become a monument to dereliction since it has been closed,” said Fianna Fail councillor Gearóid Murphy. “I know the council has been engaging and has taken a carrot and stick approach. The most important thing is that this site is brought into an acceptable state of repair and becomes a great resource once again for the town of Mallow. There have been many false dawns in relation to this site and I want to keep the pressure on.”

Labour Party councillor James Kennedy said a ‘conclusion’ is required as quickly as possible. “It is two years and two months since it was de-listed. That is a long time. It is holding up the whole social and economic development of the town. This is a prize asset right in the centre of Mallow. We are the gateway to Munster. We need to bring this conclusion as quickly as possible.”

Fine Gael councillor Tony O’Shea added that the former Central Hotel in Mallow is an ‘eyesore’. We are long enough looking at the Central Hotel. It is an eyesore. The levies have to be imposed. It has cost Cork County Council a lot of money to date. It is crucial all steps are taken. The most important thing here is that we have to follow through on it.”