Building slowdown lessens demand for infrastructure

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IN LIGHT of the current downturn in the economy, the levies for the Development Contribution Scheme in residential and all other non residential developments, are to remain the same as those in the existing 2003-2008 scheme.

And the rate of contributions for manufacturing activity has also been decreased by 50 per cent throughout the county.

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These rates will apply for a period of 30 months, when the position will be reviewed.

The Draft Development Contribution Scheme 2009 – 2013 provided for an 8.8 per cent increase in residential and all other non residential development contributions. This equates to an annual increase of 1.7 per cent over a five year period as increases have not been applied since 1995.

The funding is earmarked to address infrastructural deficits in the county, to support increased building projects.

According to the report by Tom Enright, director of services, Planning and Development, “The unprecedented level of development activity over the period of the current scheme increased the demand and need for public infrastructure.

“The Council recognises that there has been a significant slowdown in the level of development activity throughout the County in drafting the scheme, and calculated the projected income generated by development contributions to reflect the national trend of a slow down in construction activity”.

Factors taken into account were the changes in economic conditions in the first six months of this year, including the assessment of commencement notices and planning applications.

Speaking at this month’s County Council meeting, Fine Gael Cllr John Sheahan said: “In the current climate an increase of 8.8 per cent would not help the situation as people are strapped for cash”.

Cllr Kevin Sheahan noted that it will be hard to get used to a diminished fund.

However, the Fianna Fail councillor stressed that we shouldn’t lose sight of the positive aspects of what the Development Fund has achieved “and there is still money in the kitty”.

Cllr John Sheehan said 8.8 per cent increase would not have helped situation.