Seanad Government Chief Whip and Fine Gael Senator, Paul Coghlan, has welcomed the Georgian restoration project which was announced by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD.
“Ireland has a significant stock of Georgian houses, which in many cases are located in areas that have seen high levels of dereliction, decay and deprivation. Both Limerick and Waterford have suffered hugely in recent years and merit inclusion in this scheme.
“The impetus behind the initiative is to provide a tax incentive to people who are brave enough to take on a restoration project on an old Georgian property in an area that is designated under the Living City Scheme. The incentive will only be available if the person intends to live in the restored property as an owner occupier.
“I would also like to see the scheme extended in its pilot stage to some of the core areas in Dublin, where there is a substantial stock of vulnerable Georgian housing in an area of intense deprivation. In particular the area around Mountjoy Square and Parnell Square is a Georgian residential area of the city which suffers significantly from urban decay which would benefit from targeted regeneration. There are a range of local and national groups that are supportive of the extension of the pilot scheme to this area, including the Mountjoy Square Society, the Irish Georgian Society, the Dublin Civic Trust and indeed my own colleague, Senator David Norris.
“While I understand that there are some concerns about including Dublin in the pilot scheme, I believe that if the scheme is targeted properly with defined criteria it should be possible to submit the scheme for approval with some area of the capital included, provided the objective criteria for inclusion of the areas by reference to levels of deprivation are clear and obvious.
“I would urge the Minister to engage with the relevant groups in the area to see if progress can be made, rather than allow another period of dereliction and decay to endure. A scheme such as this could be a real impetus for regeneration in areas requiring renewal.”