Almost €20m in Metro North levies to be refunded

Dublin councils will begin to repay development contributions for scrapped rail line

Two Dublin local authorities are to begin the process of refunding almost €20 million received in development levies for the scrapped Metro North rail line from St Stephen's Green to Swords.

Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council between them collected €19.9 million in development contributions since 2007 and until the Government last year announced plans to build a new light rail system between Dublin Airport and the city.

Although the new line follows a similar route to Metro North, the National Transport Authority had told the councils there were "significant differences" between the two schemes, such as fewer stations, different lengths of tunnelling and a "substantially different" timescale.

Metro North was due for completion in 2012 the new line isn’t expected until in 2026 or 2027.


In light of these significant differences the authority said the “existing development contribution scheme for Metro North should be revoked and that the levies that have been collected to date under the Scheme should be refunded”.

Levies were paid by residential and commercial developers who were granted permission to build about 1km on either side of the proposed line, a catchment area covering 1,409 hectares of land.

Rates charged

The rates charged from 2007 were €2,940 per residential unit, €25.87 per sq metre of commercial developments and €37.28 per sq m of retail.

But these were reduced in 2013 to €2,000 per residential unit, €20 per sq m commercial, and €30 per sq m retail.

Most of the money was collected from developers in Fingal, where €14.2 million was taken in in levies from about 60 developers.

The city council collected €5.7 million, but from far more developers – some 412 in total.

A spokeswoman for the county council said it had “commenced the preparatory work for processing refunds but none have issued as yet”.

The city council will seek the sanction of councillors today to go ahead with a refund scheme.

A new levy scheme will be sought if the new metro secures planning permission, but will only apply to new residential or commercial developments.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times