Development levies reduction agreed by councillors in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

New rates will come into force from June 1st

A new development levy scheme was given final approval by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County councillors at a meeting last night reducing the cost of building extensions and new homes by an average of 27 per cent.

The new rates, which will come into force on June 1st, include charges of €95 per square metre for domestic extensions larger than 40 square metres, down from €130, and €11,000 per residential unit in housing developments.

Industrial and commercial developments will also be charged a reduced rate of €95 per square metre. Half of each levy will be used for roads and infrastructure, with a quarter each going to community and parks, and water and drainage.

The scheme includes exemptions for primary, post primary, charitable developments and non-commercial community centres. However it does not exempt third-level institutions.

Speaking against the reduction in the development levy, People Before Profit councillor Melissa Halpin said it was deeply unfair that "the people who are going to get a break owe us €29 million" in back development levies while people who owe "tiny sums are being pursued vigorously".

Councillor Victor Boyhan (Ind) said he was disappointed that University College Dublin and the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) were not exempted, though private schools were entirely exempt. Councillor John Bailey also suggested the institute was a special case and should be reconsidered for exemption.

Councillors were told the scheme could be reviewed again in 2015.

A separate planning levy scheme designed to fund the Luas B1 Line from Sandyford to Cherrywood, was also adjusted last night to exclude developments including temporary park and ride facilities.

The council was told the scheme had raised €25 million since 2003 and €16 million was owing.