Sub-section (1) of Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) enables a Planning Authority, when granting a planning permission under Section 34 of the Act, to include conditions requiring the payment of a contribution. This contribution is in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the Planning Authority and that is provided, or that is intended will be provided, by or on behalf of the Local Authority (regardless of other sources of funding for the infrastructure and facilities).
Section 48 also requires that the basis for the determination of a contribution shall be set out in a development contribution scheme made under the section. Development contribution schemes are adopted by the elected members following public consultation processes. A scheme may make provision for payment of different contributions in respect of different classes or descriptions of development and due to decreases/increases in construction related and other indices, shall allow for annual updates during the life of the scheme.
Section 48(10) of the Act also enables an applicant to appeal to An Bord Pleanala (within the normal statutory period of within 4 weeks of the Councils decision in respect of the planning application) where they consider that the terms of a development contribution scheme may not have been properly applied. After the period for taking an appeal has expired, where such an appeal is the only appeal made and the applicant has provided security for payment of the full amount, the Council may issue the grant of permission to allow development to proceed while An Bord Pleanala consider the development contributions appeal.
Payment of contribution
The income from said development contribution payments is used to partly fund capital expenditure on public infrastructure across the county, and, in the case of the current 2013-2015 Scheme income received is apportioned as follows;
Infrastructure & facilities
Roads & Transport
Water & Drainage
Parks & Recreation
The contributions under the Scheme shall be payable prior to commencement of development or as otherwise agreed by the Council. Contributions due with regard to permission for retention will become payable immediately on issue of the final grant of permission. Contributions shall be payable at the index adjusted rate pertaining to the year in which implementation of the planning permission is commenced in line with the applicable Development Contributions Scheme.
In the event of failure to pay development contributions the Council may recover as a simple contract debt in a court of competent jurisdiction any contribution (including interest and legal costs) due to it under the terms of this scheme. The Council, furthermore, may initiate enforcement action under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2011(as amended) in respect of unpaid development contributions which attract a criminal conviction and fines where an order is not complied with.
A planning permission together with associated conditions is not transferable and does not move with an individual i.e. it is attached to the property. It should be noted therefore that failure to discharge a development contribution represents a breach of a planning permission that has the effect of rendering the development unauthorised and this will, among other issues, seriously adversely affect the prospects of sale of said development.
It should further be noted that, where applicable, connections to water and sewerage services will be denied at commencement of development where the development contribution has not been paid in full or paid in part in compliance with an agreed Instalment plan.
Where a letter/ certificate of compliance in relation to the development contribution condition is required (ordinarily to enable sale of property), reference will be made to the payment of contributions as applicable to the development in question. If contributions have not been paid or if an agreed schedule of payments has been made but has not been honoured, a report on compliance will refer to these facts. In the case of applicable residential developments the compliance report will also refer to compliance with condition(s) requiring the lodgement of security for the completion of publicly accessible services in the related development.
It should be noted that your development may qualify for an exemption or reduced rate of contribution and in this regard you should review the relevant clauses of the development contributions scheme prior to making a planning application. There are a number of Development Contribution Schemes applicable for the administrative area of South Dublin County Council; the scheme that applies is dependent upon when the planning permission was granted.