Dáil Éireann - Volume 466 - 13 June, 1996

Written Answers. - Proposed Development Levy.

34. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment if his attention has been drawn to the concern regarding local authorities charging a development levy on new developments in view of the fact that such charges may hinder enterprise development, particularly in the Dublin region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9885/96]

96. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment his views on local authorities charging a development levy; whether such a charge could have a negative impact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12384/96]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment (Ms McManus): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 96 together.

Section 26 (1) of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963, empowers planning authorities to attach conditions to planning permissions, while section 26(2) contains specific provision for conditions requiring contributions towards expenditure already incurred, or to be incurred, by the planning authority in respect of works which have facilitated, or will facilitate, the proposed development.

[2202] Decisions on the attachment to planning permissions of contribution conditions, and on the amount of contributions required, are matters for the relevant planning authority in the first instance. Such conditions can be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which can, where it considers it appropriate, give to the planning authority directions relating to the attachment, amendment or removal of conditions to which the appeal relates, or of other conditions.

The principle of requiring a developer, in appropriate cases, to contribute to the cost of services facilitating a proposed development has been established since the inception of the present planning code over 30 years ago, and I see no reason to depart from that now. Planning contributions, in some cases, make it possible to permit development to take place sooner than might be the case if the necessary services had to be provided solely out of public expenditure.