Derelict buildings can be an eyesore. Most cities, towns and villages in Northern Ireland have vacant and deteriorating structures, or overgrown building sites. Much of this deterioration of the urban environment is a symptom of the property crash. Developers had purchased properties close to the top of the market and were then caught with them when land values plummeted; demand for housing and commercial units shrank and Banks cut off funding.
For a second year the Environment Minister, (aka Alex Attwood) has been providing local councils with funding for environmental improvements to tackle this problem of dereliction. A good idea I hear you say, but it is only painting over and buttressing the problem. Local Councils do in any event have powers to deal with dangerous buildings and indeed those in a ruinous and dilapidated state and to recoup the expense of the necessary works. Hopefully therefore the funds being provided by Mr Attwood are in reality nothing more than a series of loans which will be refunded to the public purse in the very near future.