[Sinn Fein]

25th June 2003

Sinn Fein calls on Coalition to break its ties with land speculators

Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan has called for Compulsory Purchase Orders to be used against speculators who are hoarding land and for compensation if necessary to be based on existing use value and not potential value as a consequence of rezoning. He also called on the Coalition partners to break their ties to the speculators and to ``defend the interests of the ordinary people''. The Louth TD was speaking during the second day of the Green Party's Private Members debate on Planning.

Deputy Morgan said: ``The hoarding of building land by a small number of speculators and developers has helped to maintain the high price of development land, which has resulted in the current unaffordable house prices. The Government must act now.

``To the Coalition parties, I say break your ties to the speculators and defend the interest of the ordinary people of Ireland who face a bleak future, if the coalition fails to take radical reforming measures to deal with land speculation and the spiraling cost of building land.

``A code of practice should be implemented to ensure that speculators are not profiting from the development of State funded infrastructure by local and / or central government.

``Compulsory Purchase Orders should be used against speculators sitting on land banks and derelict properties. Compensation for land procured through the CPO process, should where compensation is necessary, be based on existing use value or existing use value plus a stipulated percentage as outlined in the Kenny Report. It is not justifiable for local authorities to be faced with paying the full market value for land which has been hoarded and which has derived much of its value from the actions and decisions of that local authority like rezoning.

``The people of this state face a grim future if the Government does not address the problem of land speculation.''

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