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  • Mr. Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, has announced significant reforms of the planning system as part of the forthcoming Planning No.1 Bill. The new reforms include new Part V requirements for developers, the introduction of a vacant site levy and ‘Use it or Lose it’ clauses with planning permissions.

    The new Part V proposals will require developers to provide up to 10% of their housing units for social housing and the legislation will remove the ability of developers to account for their social housing commitments through cash payments to local authorities. The proposals will furthermore ensure that the social housing units will be located predominantly on the site of the original developments.

    The new legislation will also see the introduction of a vacant site levy whereby local authorities, in urban centres of greater than 3,000 population, will have the power to apply levies to property owners who leave their sites vacant and underutilised. The proposed levy will work by applying an annual levy at a rate of 3% of the market value to the site if the owner does not take steps to develop the site. Once in place, local authorities will have the power to apply such levies to vacant sites in areas designated for priority development under their respective local development plans.

    The Bill will also Read the rest of this entry »

    Published on October 2, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Legislation; Tagged as: , ,
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  • The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013, which was enacted on the 25th December 2013, transferred a range of statutory water services functions from Local Authorities to Irish Water from the 1st January 2014. Therefore, as per advice given by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Planning Authorities cannot include conditions on permissions granted after the 1st of January 2014 that require contributions towards water infrastructure & facilities.



    Planning conditions from the 1st Jan 2014 are now reflecting the reduction to account for the water infrastructure element. It would appear that some of these permissions are in the position of not having to pay this element of the levy at all. They have fallen for decision in the period where the Council have stopped their responsibility in this regard but Irish Water are not yet active. However, Planning Authorities are advised to notify Irish Water of new planning applications as of the 1st of January 2014 so unfortunately it does not appear that this window of opportunity will continue.

    Published on January 23, 2014 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: ,
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  • The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government have published guidelines for planning authority’s in relation to development contributions (planning levies).

    Key features of the new guidance include:

     1. A requirement for planning authorities to establish reduced rates of contribution for projects such as:

    • Developments in town centres
    • IDA/Enterprise Ireland projects
    • Broadband and sustainable energy infrastructure
    • Change of use permissions which do not require upgraded infrastructure.

    2. No exemption or waiver should apply to any applications for retention of development. Planning authorities are encouraged to impose higher rates in respect of such applications.

    3. Double charging is prohibited: Any development contribution already levied and paid in respect of a given development should be deducted from the subsequent charge so as to reflect that this development had already made a contribution.

    4. Development contribution schemes should appropriately promote the development of areas prioritised in their core strategies required  (eg: Incentivising activity through lower development contributions in the areas prioritised for development in the core strategy, with a complementary increase in the rate outside of these areas to ensure no shortfall in the council’s budget).

    Published on January 23, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: , ,
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