Estate fees levied on house owners
South Dublin County Council became the latest council yesterday to say it may take action against householders to recoup development charges in situations where they have not been paid by property developers.
The move follows confirmation by Wicklow County Council that it is pursuing homeowners in a number of estates for sums of up to €4,800 after the developer of the estate failed to pay.
The council said development levies were “a charge on the property itself, not on an individual or a developer”, and there was “an obligation to pay these contributions” as well as an obligation on the authority to collect them.
At the monthly meeting of South Dublin County Council yesterday, management used similar language to tell members there was a possibility it too would have to go after householders for the money.
Council planners said such a move would “not be the first choice”, as it was preferable to pursue the property developer.
But they said the charge “stayed with the property, not the individual”.
Bucking the trend
In contrast, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said in a statement it was “the developer that we pursue”.
The council said it was the council’s policy “to pursue all outstanding levies from our various debtors”.
But it added: “In the case of outstanding development levies, it’s the developer we pursue. All of our sites have been inspected and we are vigorously pursuing all outstanding arrears.”
The Department of the Environment said levies were a matter for each planning authority to decide itself. But a spokesman noted it did not believe Wicklow was “first off the block in this regard”.
Since the Planning and Development Act, 2000, which overhauled development contributions, such funding has become increasingly important to local authorities.