Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today launched a consultation on tackling the blight of derelict and neglected property and sites.
This is the next step in his review into legislation to help councils deal more effectively with dilapidated/dangerous buildings and neglected sites.
Mark H Durkan said: “Neglected and derelict properties and sites blight our urban and rural environments. I want to ensure that councils have the powers to act against property owners and land owners who allow their buildings and sites to become dilapidated and, in many cases, dangerous.
“Our environment, built and natural, supports the economy and creates jobs. My Dereliction Intervention Programme has been very successful in helping local councils to boost tourism and support the local economy but we need to go further.
“This is why I undertook a review of existing legislation, some of which dates back to the 19th century. I have listened closely to councils and other stakeholders who have clearly indicated that although this legislation is effective in certain circumstances, it is deficient in others.”
The Minister concluded: “I want to hear from as many stakeholders as possible and encourage them to carefully consider this consultation document and take the time to respond with their views so that efforts can be focused on real solutions. This will help councils improve the quality of our cities, towns and villages by giving them more effective means to deal with dilapidated buildings and neglected sites.
“In May the Department of Environment will no longer exist with its functions being transferred across a number of departments. I am seizing this opportunity to pave the way for legislation early in the new mandate to ensure councils have the powers to give our environment the level of protection it deserves.”
The consultation document can be accessed at http://www.doeni.gov.uk/consultations/dilapidated-dangerous-buildings-neglected-sites-policy . The consultation will run from 10 March 2016 to 30 June 2016.
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