Council urged to wage war on derelict houses

Pauline Scott Owner of derelict houses in towns and villages throughout County Roscommon could face a council levy based on the value of their property, if plans now being considered by Roscommon County Council go ahead. The problem was discussed at a recent Castlerea Area Meeting at which Cllr. Tony Waldron (Fianna Fail) was vocal on the issue.    Cllr. Tony Waldron noted that derelict houses are a problem throughout the county and are often identified as blackspots in tidy towns reports.    ‘The idea behind it is not an extra tax, it is to encourage people to do something with their properties and to make the county more attractive. The Council has the power to do it, other councils have done it. ‘ Asked how it would work in practice, Cllr. Waldron said, ‘The council get a list of derelict buildings and get them valued and apply an annual levy on the property and that would be an annual charge until such time as they address the issue.’