Coroner challenges land tax zoning for late father’s holding

High Court action mounted against An Bord Pleanála’s decision that property eligible for Residential Zoned Land Tax

A landowner who claims she cannot get planning permission to build houses on her late father’s land has brought a High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s decision that the property is eligible for the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT).

Helen Lucey, who is the coroner for north Kerry, has brought an action against the board’s decision to uphold an earlier finding by Cork County Council that the lands should be included on maps of sites where the controversial ‘land hoarding tax’ applies.

The proceedings are also against the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Ireland and the Attorney General, while the council is a notice party.

She says she was left lands in Tonafoa, Dunmanway, Co Cork, zoned residential, by her late father.


She intended to seek planning permission to build houses on the lands or sell the land to a builder, having received planning permission.

Ms Lucey, from Cahirdown, Listowel, Co Kerry, claims that the planning professional she engaged informed her it would be “a waste of process” as the council is refusing all planning permissions in the Dunmanway area.

This is because the local wastewater treatment plant cannot service new developments. That situation is not expected to change until the plant’s capacity increases.

Last March she was informed the lands were included in a map, complied by the council of properties subject to the RZLT. She appealed that decision to An Bord Pleanála, which upheld the local authority’s decision.

She has launched judicial review proceedings seeking various orders, including one quashing the board’s decision, which she says is unfair, unlawful and irrational. She also alleges the 2022 RZLT guidelines issued by the Minister were made without proper jurisdiction and otherwise than in accordance with the law.

The matter came before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland on Monday. The judge, on an ex parte basis, granted the applicant permission to bring the challenge.

The matter was transferred to the new Planning and Environment Court list and will be heard next year.

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