AN “ugly” derelict house in Stradbally has been referred to the county’s vacant homes officer in the hope that it can be restored for social housing.
The property on Main Street, which has been an eyesore for years, may eventually go to a family on the county council’s housing list if it proves suitable.
The dilapidated building, which has a prominent position near the church, has persistently ruined efforts to present the town at its best. It has been on the county’s derelict sites register for more than ten years.
The eyesore was again highlighted by cllr Paschal McEvoy at the latest meeting of Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District, when he asked that the county council start the process of buying the derelict house under a CPO (compulsory purchase order).
Cllr McEvoy said it was three years since he proposed a motion that the house should be bought by the council under a CPO and restored to its original condition, so that it could be placed on the social housing list.
He said: “I don’t want to be running anyone down, but obviously, nothing has been done since. I’d ask you to put the process in motion now, because I have spoken to the vacant homes officer and he said that he will pursue it. It’s an ugly house and it’s the first house you see when you enter the town from that side, although there are lovely houses around it.”
Cllr McEvoy said he was told that a man from Italy owned the house, but it was difficult to get any more information about it.
He was supported by cllr Tom Mulhall, who said: “This house is very much an eyesore in a very scenic part of Stradbally and people see it from every direction.”
Housing officer Nicola Lawler replied that the property has been referred to the county council’s vacant homes officer “to examine if it is suitable for acquisition for housing purposes”. She told cllr McEvoy that a report from the vacant homes officer would follow “in due course”.
A vacant homes officer was appointed to Laois County Council for the first time in late 2018.