Call for action to reduce level of vacant properties

THERE has been a call for Donegal County Council to act quickly to reverse the high level of commercial property vacancies.

The commercial vacancy rate in Donegal increased by 0.6 percentage points to 17.5% in the twelve months to Q4 2022 according to the latest GeoDirectory Commercial Vacancy Rates Report.

Donegal, at 5.5 percentage points, registered highest increase in commercial vacancy rates as a percentage of stock between January 2013 and December 2022 (12.0% to 17.5%).


Ballybofey had the highest vacancy rate at 29.2%, followed by Letterkenny (24%) and Cootehill (23.6%). On the other hand, Bundoran (12.2%) and Buncrana (12.4%) had the lowest vacancy rates in Ulster.

Ahead of today’s Plenanary Council meeting, Cathaoirleach of Lifford Stranorlar MD called on the Council to take action to reduce the level of vacancies in the county, particularly in Ballybofey.

In his motion, Cllr Patrick McGowan said, “Many reports from GeoDirectory over a number of years, based on a sample of 80 towns, have consistently highlighted the fact that Donegal has the highest commercial vacancy rate in the country.”

He called on the Council Management to outline a strategy to reverse this ongoing issue, and provide an update in relation to the employment of a Vacant Homes Officer and other staff to speed up processing times on vacant home grants.

He also called for information to be provided on Town Regeneration Officer and Technicians.

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