Land hoarders manage to avoid €40m vacant site levies

Loopholes in regulation mean that only 9 per cent of the fines were paid since 2018

Independent House, Middle Abbey Street, which is owned by Penneys: in 2018, Dublin City Council attempted to fine Penneys over the building through a vacant site levy.Picture: Fergal Phillips

Land hoarders have avoided tens of millions of euros in penalties, with only 9 per cent of vacant site fines ultimately paid, the Business Post can reveal.

New records show local authorities told the Department of Housing that loopholes in the vacant site levy rules have allowed owners to avoid an estimated €40 million worth of levies since 2018.

The levy was introduced in 2017 to encourage owners of idle land, which could be used ...