I submitted a question to the local area committee on the 10th of March to try and get a resolution to vacant properties in Swords
Question: Councillor J. Newman: Swords Development.
“To ask the Chief Executive to have an assessment carried out to identify what type of business or community service would be appropriate to encourage the development of the area around the Castle to encourage tourism, and to consider how the Council could waive rates to encourage the proper development of this area?”
The Swords Cultural Quarter Master Plan set out a design concept for Swords Castle and the environs around it. In the Masterplan the area is prioritised for broadly cultural uses. The plan also sets out how the area with vacant buildings that straddles main street and North Street can be re-designed to facilitate a mix of community, artistic, and commercial uses.
Appropriate uses of the new and existing buildings, combined with event and activity programming in the Castle will be utilised to enliven the Cultural Quarter.
Fingal County Council will be informed of how to achieve this on foot of an assessment of our Heritage Properties, with a view to optimising how they can grow tourism and support ancillary economic activities. This will have regard to the historic role, and the potential for commercial and community activity.
There is no provision within existing rating legislation to allow for a waiver of rates in such circumstances. However, Fingal County Council will consider all available mechanism that may encourage activity.