Metro North levies to be cut

Councils will reduce but not scrap development charges for the postponed line

A computer generated image of what Metro North arriving at Swords Station could look like. Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council have between them collected almost €18 million in levies paid by residential and commercial developers who were granted permission to build near to where the line was to run.

A computer generated image of what Metro North arriving at Swords Station could look like. Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council have between them collected almost €18 million in levies paid by residential and commercial developers who were granted permission to build near to where the line was to run.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 22:00

Dublin local authorities are to cut development levies for the shelved Metro North rail line by up to one third, but say they will not scrap the charge.

Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council have between them collected almost €18 million in levies paid by residential and commercial developers who were granted permission to build near to where the line was to run.

The Government in November 2011 decided not to proceed with the line from St Stephen’s Green to Swords.

Both local authorities have since 2007 been able to charge levies to contribute towards funding the line. The rates charged were €2,940 per residential unit, €25.87 per square metre of commercial developments and €37.28 per square metre of retail.

Most of the money was collected by Fingal, with just over €3.9 million collected by the city council. The local authorities can retain the money on behalf of the Railway Procurement Agency for 30 years.

However, the agency recently informed the local authorities that the projected capital costs of the line had reduced and it would be appropriate for the councils to consider reducing the levy.

A report commissioned by the councils analysed the development potential within the catchment area of the proposed line and, using current property prices, placed a value on that development.

It concluded Metro North would still benefit the price of property within its catchment between 3 and 5.8 per cent. The consultants estimated the average residential unit price in the catchment area in 2012 to be €219,230. A premium of 3-5.8 per cent would equate an to additional value in the range of €6,500- €12,700, thereby increasing the value of the property to €225,900-€232,000.

The councils have determined new levies of €2,000 per residential unit, a 32 per cent cut; €20 per square metre commercial, a 23 per cent cut; and €30 per square metre retail, a 20 per cent cut.