Levies to be imposed on owners of vacant sites in county

Galway Bay fm newsroom –
The owners of vacant sites in towns and villages in the county will be liable for levies if they remain undeveloped from the 1st of January next year.
County councillors were briefed about the new charges at a meeting of the local authority this week.
The levy will be 3% of the value of the lands from the 1st of January, 2019.
However, that goes up to 7% from January 2020 onwards.
The objective is to try and ensure that houses and dwellings are built in order to meet a substantial demand across the county and the country.
There was a mixed reaction from councillors.
Tom McHugh said that young people cannot buy on the open market and that it often did not make sense for builders to carry out developments.
Councillor Joe Byrne that there are no margins of profit for builders in County Galway towns; he suggested cutting down the VAT rate in the case of first time buyers as a positive move.