Clarity needed on development charges
Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Kenny is looking for fruther clarity on the possibility of Local Authorities seeking development charges from the people who bought houses from developers.
In a statement issued to the Leitrim Observer, Cllr Kenny noted residents on a Wicklow housing estate are being pursued for the payment of outstanding development fees that were left unpaid by the developer of the estate.
Cllr Kenny said that Wicklow County Council has written to 21 homeowners in Avoca demanding payment of €2500 each.
“The registered letters said the homes were not in compliance with their planning conditions as development fees stipulated as part of the planning were not paid,” he said.
“These charges were the brainchild of the last Fianna Fail-Green Government and were presented as a method of raising finance from cash rich developers during the boom. The Development Charges are calculated and inserted in the grant of planning permission.
“My understanding would have been that the person to whom the planning was granted is responsible for this charge, however this situation in Wicklow now seems to be moving the responsibility on to the person who now owns the house.”
Cllr Kenny said that homeowners needed clarity on this, especially taking into account the fact that many of these homes are in estates which are incomplete.
“It is totally wrong and unworkable to suggest that hard pressed home owners struggling to meet inflated mortgages should pay the debts of the developer or builder. It is wrong because this is not their debt and it is unworkable because the vast majority of homeowners simply don’t have the money,” said Cllr Kenny.
“The continued starving of funds from Councils by the Government may be forcing every possible avenue to be examined for money, but this is going too far. Home owners need clear assurances that they will not be pursued for these charges by Local Authorities.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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