PII calls for a reduction in development levies

Thu, Oct 18, 2012, 01:00

Back in the boom, development levies were a major revenue stream for the government, peaking at more than €900 million in 2007. Five years on, and in a very different property market, some local authorities have yet to reduce their levies to a level that will renew interest in land and encourage building activity.

Yesterday a PII (Property Industry Ireland) conference called for a reduction in development contributions, which PII say are hampering new development in areas where it is needed, such as in Dublin, where supply of both housing and prime office space is decreasing rapidly.

Back in June, the Government proposed significantly lowering development levies and giving full exemption to projects that create employment and some local authorities have followed suit.

Last month, Dublin City Council announced plans to reduce the level of contributions for residential development from €156.62 per sqm to €115.21 and the levy for industrial and commercial projects from €127 per sq m to €93.42, although some believe this is not enough.

“We don’t want to see a return to the development frenzy of five years ago,” said PII director Finola McDonnell, “but we must ensure that where new build is required, it can happen in a timely and cost-

effective way. Development contributions, in some cases, now exceed the value of land. That makes no sense.”

The PII conference, Planning a Better Future, was attended by more than 100 delegates from across the property industry. Delegates heard that the local government reform programme provides a good opportunity to improve the planning system.

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