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What is a Vacant Site?
Under the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015 (and more recently the Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2018) all planning authorities shall, beginning January 1st, 2017, establish and maintain a Vacant Sites Register.  An identified vacant site can be entered on the register when the authority is of the opinion that it has been vacant for a minimum of 12 months preceding its entry on the register.

Where can I find the Vacant Sites Register?
The Vacant Sites Register is available for inspection at the Public Counter of the Planning Department, during the Planning Departments opening hours of 09:30am to 04:00pm (excluding Saturday/Sunday & Bank Holidays) or by clicking on the ‘Vacant Sites Register’ link on this page.

Vacant Sites Register & Levy
It is, a requirement of the Act that a site is entered on the Vacant Sites Register with details of ownership, title to the site and its market value.

For sites on the Vacant Sites Register, a levy shall be charged in 2019 for 2018 and for every year thereafter until the site is no longer vacant.  The levy shall be payable in arrears each year, beginning in 2019, by the owner of the vacant site that is entered on the register on 1st January of that year.  The levy shall be payable on a demand being made by the authority and was originally calculated at 3% of the market value of the site.  As set in the annual Budget 2018, the rate increased from 3% to 7% of the market valuation of relevant sites with affect from January 2020, in respect of sites included on local authority vacant sites registers in 2019.

What information can be found on the Vacant Sites Register?
As set out in Section 8 of the Urban and Regeneration Housing Act 2015, each vacant site placed on the Register will include the following information:

(a) in the case of a site referred to in section 6 (2) that comprises registered land within the meaning of the Registration of Title Act 1964 , the property ownership folio reference attaching to such land,

(b) the name and address of the owner of the site referred to in section 6 (2),

(c) particulars of the market value of the site referred to in section 6 (2) as determined by the planning authority, or by the Tribunal on appeal, in accordance with section 12 , and

(d) such other information referred to in this Act as the Minister may prescribe.

Additional information in relation to date of entry and location will also be provided for ease of reference.

Appeals Process
When notified by the authority of its intention to include a site on the Vacant Sites Register by way of a Section 7(1) Notice, a property owner has the right to object and can make a submission to the planning authority within 28 days.  If, having considered the submission, the authority is still of the view that it should be entered on the register, it must notify the property owner of same by way of a Section 7(3) Notice and the owner may within 28 days appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala (ABP).  Entry on the register shall not take effect until the appeal is determined by ABP.

The authority must determine the market value of a vacant site as soon as after it is entered on the Vacant Sites Register and notify the owner of same.  The owner can appeal the valuation to the Valuation Tribunal within 28 days of the notice.  Subject to the right of appeal on a point of law, the decision of the Tribunal is final.

An owner of a vacant site who receives a demand for payment of the levy may appeal against same to ABP within 28 days of the date of the demand on grounds that the site was not vacant during the period for which the levy is applicable or that the calculation of the levy is incorrect.  If ABP upholds the appeal, then either the entry shall be removed from the register and the demand cancelled or it will advise the authority of the correct amount of the levy and an amended demand shall issue.

Further Queries are to be referred to;
Email:  Or
Vacant Site Section, Planning Department, Kildare County Council.

Related Documents

  • Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015
  • Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2018


How does Residential Zoned Land Tax relate to the Vacant Sites Levy and the Derelict Sites Levy?
What is Residential Zoned Land Tax? The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) is a new tax that was introduced in Finance Act 2021. It applies to land that is both zoned as suitable for residential development and is serviced. The RZLT is an annual tax, which will be first due in 2025 in respect of land which met the relevant criteria on or before 1 January 2022 and which is reflected on the annual final map for 2025 to be published by local authorities on 31 January 2025. Land which became zoned and serviced in the course of 2022 will also be first liable to the tax in 2025, this being the third year after the year in which such land met the relevant criteria. The tax is administered on a self-assessment basis.

Both the Vacant Site Levy and the Residential Zoned Land Tax are measures to activate land and planning permission for development. Both measures encourage the development or redevelopment of zoned land. The Residential Zoned Land Tax has a wider scope, with an aim to encourage all zoned and serviced land which meets the criteria to be brought forward for development over the short to medium term.

The tax measure will over the coming years replace the Vacant Site Levy, however the levy will continue to apply and accrue until the charge on land associated with the tax is levied in accordance with section 653Q.  Any outstanding charges in respect of the vacant site levy will remain against the land in question to be collected by the local authority.

Where a site is designated as a derelict site and liable for the derelict sites levy under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, it will not be within the scope of RZLT and should not be on the maps.

For more on Residential Zoned Land Tax:
Residential Zoned Land Tax - Kildare County Council (

For more on Derelict Sites:
Derelict Sites - Kildare County Council (