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Derelict sites

Derelict Sites

Derelict sites can have a major negative impact on the economic, commercial, social and visual health of an area. It is important that derelict sites or sites that may become derelict are reported, investigated and restored to a non-derelict condition. Cavan County Council is committed to identifying dereliction within our towns and villages with an aim to reversing dereliction and improve the health and vitality of our towns and villages.

What is a derelict site?

The derelict sites act defines a derelict site as any land that detracts, or is likely to detract, to a material degree from the amenity, character, or appearance of land in the neighbourhood of the land in question because of:

  • Structures which are in a ruinous, derelict, or dangerous condition, or
  • The neglected, unsightly, or objectionable condition of the land or of structures on it, or
  • The presence, deposit or collection of litter, rubbish, debris or waste

The role of the council

Cavan County Council is responsible for dealing with derelict sites in the County. The council investigates all reports of dereliction within designated urban areas, as prescribed by the minister, and takes enforcement action in accordance with the Derelict Sites Act 1990. The Act allows local authorities to;

  • Include a derelict site on a Derelict Sites Register.
  • Serve a notice on the owner/occupier of a derelict site specifying works to be carried out to prevent or stop dereliction.
  • Carry out any necessary works themselves and charge the site owner(s) for the cost.
  • Acquire a derelict site by agreement or by compulsory purchase.
  • Impose an annual levy on any derelict site in an urban area.

Derelict Site Register

The Local Authority is required to maintain a register of all derelict sites within their functional area. Before a site can be entered on the register a notice is issued to owners/occupiers of detailing the planning authority’s intention to include their property on the Register. This notification will include a timeframe within which property owners can make a submission to the planning authority. Following this period of consultation and only if the planning authority continues to consider that the property is a derelict site, the owner will be notified of the property’s inclusion on the Register. The register can be viewed, by appointment, at the

Planning Department,
Johnston Centre,
Farnham Street,
Cavan Town,
H12 C9K1.  

Derelict Sites Levy

As soon as possible, after the entry of a site on the Derelict Sites Register, the planning authority will determine the market value of a derelict site, in accordance with section 23 (7) of the Derelict Sites Act. The property owner shall be informed of the market valuation and the amount of levy due. The levy will be payable for each year that the property remains on the Register.

Report a derelict site

If you wish to report a derelict site in your area please complete the Cavan County Council Derelict Sites Reporting Survey

What if my property is a derelict site?

Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, as amended, all owners and occupiers of land are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their land (including any structures on it) does not become or does not continue to be a derelict site.

In the event, that your land is identified as a derelict site or a potential derelict site, Cavan County Council will be able to help and advise you in relation to any statutory notices you may have received.

If the required works are not carried out within an agreed timeframe, the local authority may include the land on the Derelict Sites Register. Inclusion on the Derelict Sites Register may lead to a derelict sites levy being imposed or, in some cases, a compulsory purchase of the land may be pursued.

Landowners and occupiers should be aware that under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, it is an offence to:

  • Remove, damage or deface any statutory notice posted by the local authority on or regarding a derelict site.
  • Fail to carry out the measures required by the local authority to prevent a property from being classed as derelict within an agreed timeframe.
  • Fail to notify the local authority of the transfer of land or interest in land (other than by will or on an intestacy) from one person to another. Both parties must notify the local authority in writing within four weeks of the transfer.
  • Fail to notify the local authority of the transfer of land or interest in land by will or on an intestacy. The new owner must notify the local authority in writing within six months and the representative of the person under whose will or upon whose intestacy the transfer occurred must notify the local authority in writing within two months.
  • Prevent an authorised person from entering or carrying out authorised business on any land for any purpose connected with the Derelict Sites Act 1990.

An owner or occupier can make written representations or responses to any statutory notices they receive from the local authority.

Relevant Legislation

Contact details

For more information email 

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