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Property developer appeals against ‘double charging’

A PROPERTY developer is appealing Clare County Council’s request for a development contribution of almost €125,000 in respect of a proposal to complete a housing scheme in Kilkishen on the basis it amounts to “double charging”.
Jim Woods Building Contractor Ltd, based in Newmarket-on-Fergus, was granted planning permission to construct 16 houses at the Cluain na Laoi estate in Kilkishen on March 30 last.
The local authority attached 24 planning conditions to the grant of planning permission and condition 24 forms the subject of an appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by the applicant.
This condition requires the developer to pay a contribution of €124,984.32 in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting the development.
In an appeal document lodged with An Bord Pleanála, the applicant claims the development contribution levied amounts to “double charging” as “development contributions have already been paid in full under the terms of a previous planning permission”.
The applicant explained in the appeal document that the 16 units for which planning was granted formed part of a previous planning permission, which was submitted to the council in 2001 and was subsequently granted.
Under this planning permission, 54 residential units were sought and development contributions were levied on that permission. Included in the 54 units were the 16 houses, which are at issue.
“The board is advised that development had commenced on the 16 units under the terms of the [2001] permission prior to the expiry of that permission,” the applicant states. They add that works that had commenced included the completion of on-site sewerage and public water infrastructure that would facilitate these 16 units.
The applicant states, “There are no provisions, express or otherwise, in the contribution scheme that would suggest that development contributions can be repeatedly applied in respect to the same development”.
The applicant added that it was “beyond doubt” that the 16 units commenced under the terms of the 2001 permission and “irrespective to the economic and technical circumstances beyond the control of the applicant that prevented the completion of the units under the [2001] permission, Clare County Council accepted full and final payment in respect to all development contributions levied in respect to that permission.
“The further payment of development contributions in respect to the provision of services that are currently in place and which have already been levied on and paid by the developer is inequitable and subjects the developer to additional unforeseen costs.
“The applicant therefore submits that the development permitted under [this year’s planning permission] has clearly been subject to double charging of development contributions”.
The applicant is seeking a determination from An Bórd Pleanála that the contributions have been “incorrectly applied for the reasons set out” in their appeal.

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