Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has called on Wicklow County council to take immediate action in securing, refurbishing and putting to good use 3 large vacant residential properties that they are owners of on Eglinton Road in Bray. The only purpose they are currently serving is as an expensive pigeon loft. The properties were part of the land portfolio put together by Ballymore Properties for the Florentine Development in Bray. The entire portfolio, including the three large houses, was purchased by Bray Town Council for €1.95m in December 2013.
Speaking after a recent Municipal District meeting were Councillor Brady raised the issue of the vacant, derelict properties; the Sinn Féin Councillor said “At our Municipal meeting I raised the issue of the three vacant residential properties on Eglinton Road that the council are owners of. These properties are listed buildings and have been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair that they are dangerous and an complete eyesore. At a time when we have a housing crisis, for the council to have boarded up like properties such as this is an absolute disgrace.”
“The properties were originally purchased by Ballymore Properties, mainly for the large rear gardens which boarded the Florentine site. When the council purchased the entire Florentine site in 2013 the residential properties were included in the sale. It is hoped that plans for the development of the Florentine shopping centre will be in place in the next month or two. However the actual houses will not be part of that development. In response to a question I put to the Manager about what plans are in place for the houses, he stated that only when the Florentine Centre is developed will he start looking at putting in place a plan and making a proposal to the Councillors.”
Cllr Brady went onto say “I think that the responses to my questions about these properties are absolutely disgraceful and shows a complete disregard towards the people of Bray and the housing crisis that exists. Anyone that knows the history of the Florentine site knows that it has taken 20 years to get to this point; it will take a few more before any development is completed there. We can’t wait until then before something is done with these properties, action needs to happen immediately.”
Councillor Brady concluded by saying “Not only are these valuable protected structures that the council owns in a prime town centre location, they are opposite a public Library and beside businesses, they are dangerous and a complete eyesore. A plan needs to be put in place now to secure, make them safe and ultimately refurbish them so they can be put to use trying to tackle the housing crisis that exists. The only purpose they are currently serving is as an expensive pigeon loft.”