Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (201)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

201. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of OPW residential properties vacant in County Kerry; the length of time these properties have been vacant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23792/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Commissioners of Public Works, on behalf of the State, manage a large and diverse property portfolio, which ranges from office accommodation to heritage properties, visitor centres, Garda stations, among others.  As is typical of such large portfolios, there will always be a number of properties, at any given time, that are vacant. 

The majority of the properties currently vacant are those Garda stations closed under the 2012/2013 policing plans of An Garda Síochána.  The remainder consists of properties such as customs posts, former coastguard stations and sundry other properties located throughout the country. 

At present, there are in the region of four properties that are currently vacant in County Kerry.  These are former Garda stations with attached married quarters, with the exception of the Ballylongford property, which has a detached married quarters.  These properties are in poor condition and not currently suitable for residential occupation.  The list of properties and length the properties are vacant is as follows:

Property

Length of Time Vacant

Former Garda Station and Married Quarters, Brosna, Co. Kerry

6 years

Former Garda Station and Married Quarters, Camp, Co. Kerry

6 years

Former Garda Station and Married Quarters, Moyvane, Co. Kerry

7 years

Former Married Quarters, Ballylongford, Co. Kerry

7 years 

The Commissioners of Public Works continually review properties in State ownership in line with the OPW’s policy on surplus vacant property.

The OPW policy with regard to non-operational (vacant) State property, including the properties in County Kerry is to:

1. Identify if the property is required/suitable for alternative State use by either Government Departments or the wider public sector.

2. If there is no other State use identified for a property, the OPW will then consider disposing of the property on the open market if and when conditions prevail, in order to generate revenue for the Exchequer.

3. If no State requirement is identified or if a decision is taken not to dispose of a particular property, the OPW may consider community involvement (subject to a detailed written submission, which would indicate that the community/voluntary group has the means to insure, maintain and manage the property and that there are no ongoing costs for the Exchequer).