Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (204)

Michael McGrath


204. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position in relation to the vacant properties at a location (details supplied) in County Cork; the plans of the OPW for the properties; if the OPW has plans to carry out essential maintenance works at the location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35971/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The OPW actively manages a portfolio of some 2,500 properties throughout the country, that ranges from office accommodation to heritage properties, visitors centres, Garda stations, among others.  At any given time it is normal that a number of properties are vacant.  In the case of the OPW portfolio, there are 98 properties currently vacant, reduced from over 200 that were vacant in 2014. 

The majority of these are former Garda stations closed under the 2012/13 closure programme.  As these stations were subject to examination under the recent policing review, the OPW was specifically requested not to dispose of them.  Now that this review is completed, the future of the remaining 51 stations will be determined.  

When a property is deemed suitable for disposal, the OPW will, in the first instance, offer it for use to other public bodies (e.g. local authorities, LDA, HSE etc.) prior to it being placed on the open market. 

Of the 98 properties currently vacant, there are nine former coastguard cottages in Crosshaven, Co. Cork in State ownership, seven of which have been identified as surplus to requirement and suitable for disposal.

In addition to the cottages, there is a one acre site to the rear of the cottages. This site was the subject of a Licence Agreement, which expired in October 2017 but remains occupied by the licensee and is subject to legal proceedings. This site is also surplus to State requirements and suitable for disposal when the legal issues have been resolved.

The cottages and site were considered for use by Cork County Council but the Council, following due consideration, decided not to proceed with acquiring the properties and site.  As there is no alternative State use for the cottages and site the OPW has prepared contracts for sale and plan to dispose of them following resolution of the outstanding legal issue.  

The OPW recently carried out repairs to the roof of one of the properties.