Council members vote to introduce development levies

Members of the Council have adopted a reduced schedule of development levies by 17 votes to 9. The levy will apply to all houses in excess of 130 square metres on an unserviced site and come into effect in mid June. Councillors agreed that all money will be ring fenced for community and social projects. Suggestions that the charge should only apply to urban housing were rejected on the basis that the facilities provided will be available to all. This amended schedule of charges was only adopted after a two hour debate.The Chairman of the planning spc Brendan Cronin suggested exempting smaller houses. He also called for assurances that this proposal will not come before the Council again in the next four years. The FF group suggested a reduction in the levies for both serviced and unserviced sites. This was agreed on the basis that the charge for a holiday home will be increased to cover the shortfall.Members rejected a call from the County Manager to bring the charges in from the first of June. He said he’s worried that planners will be swamped with incomplete planning applications ahead of the introduction and warned that by trying to by pass a levy of 350 euro applicants would face lengthy delays and additional costs of up to 2,000 euro. However members voted to bring in the charges in 28 days time.