Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has welcomed the action that has been taken by Wicklow County council in securing 3 large vacant residential properties that they are owners of on Eglinton Road in Bray. Brady recently described the houses as an expensive pigeon loft, whilst at the same time people are homeless and sleeping on the streets. 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 inspecting the work that commenced Councillor Brady stated “I’m glad that after I raised the issue of the council having these 3 protected houses boarded up, and falling into disrepair due to large holes in the roofs, action has been taken. We are in the midst of a housing crisis and for the council to allow protected properties, that they are owners of fall into such poor conditions is a damming indictment. Work commenced this week on the 3 properties to secure them from the elements and to stop people entering them, the site also needs to be cleaned up.”
“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.”
Councillor Brady concluded by saying “Now that the protected structures have been secured, discussions need to start immediately, to try getting the houses back into use without further delay.”