Thursday, 27 June 2013

Action needed to address the old A O'Smith site in Bray which has become a magnet for Criminal Activity

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has called for immediate
action to be taken to address the dangers posed by the derelict A O'
Smith building on the Boghall Road in Bray.
A O'Smith once housed over 140 employees before its closure in 2005,
the building has now fallen into a state of dereliction and is used as
a drug den and a haven for anti-social behaviour and criminal

The Sinn Féin Councillor said “The A O'Smith building which at its
peak employed up to 200 people, was one of the best maintained
businesses in Bray. Unfortunately since it closed in 2005 it has been
allowed to fall into a state of dereliction which is not only an eye
sore but it is also the scene of constant criminal activities. I have
spoken to firefighters who were recently called to the site to deal
with a fire and they have stated the inside of the building is strewn
with syringes. I have also spoken to other members of the community
who regularly witness large groups of people entering the premises for
drug parties. I also believe a number of people are living and
sleeping in the dangerous building. Action is needed immediately to
secure the site and clean it up but most importantly to get positive
plans in place for the future of the site".

"The site is owned by 2 Galway business men, however the IDA have a 99
year lien on the site. A number of years ago at the height of the
property boom the IDA did formulate a price for the lien they hold,
however it was deemed too high at the time by the businessmen and
unfortunately the site has lain derelict since. I have constantly been
raising this issue with the council and in November 2007 it was
entered on the Derelict Sites Register. However after some minor works
to secure the building it was removed from the register in 2008. Once
entered on the register the owners must pay an annual levy to the
local authority. This levy amounts to 3% of the market value of the
land concerned".

Cllr Brady continued “There is a responsibility on the owners of the A
O'Smith site to take action to address this eyesore which is a big
public safety concern; the owners can’t abdicate their
responsibilities. There is also a big responsibility however on Bray
Town Council and the IDA. I am calling on the council to take the lead
on this serious issue to try get action on the ground, the council
must immediately enter the site on the Derelict Sites Register again
as a starting point. They must also organise a trilateral meeting
between all interested parties to try put in place plans for the
immediate future of the site. The council must use all its powers to
address the issue and all options need to be explored, there are
specific regulations about dangerous structures. The local authority
can direct that work, including the demolition of the structure and
the clearing of the site be carried out immediately if it considers it

Cllr Brady concluded "I believe at this point in time all options must
be on the table so as the safety of the community of Ballywaltrim and
Bray is protected and the eyesore that is the
A O'Smith site is dealt with. We have already lost one member of the
community who unfortunately died on site in 2010 and we don't want any
more". Ends

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