My second motion was that the council outline the impediments to setting aside a prescribed percentage of the overall development levies to help maintain estates not taken in charge after a prolonged period of time. For example, if an estate has not been taken in charge after an agreed and prescribed number of years, then the needs of the residence /property tax payers would be deemed to outweigh the benefits of deterring developers from walking away from their responsibilities. Estates not being taken in charge for up to 30 years cannot be justifiable on the grounds that to take it in charge is to let the developer off the hook.
Here is the report issued by Ken Kavanagh, Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department. Section 48 (3) of the Planning and Development Acts require a Development Contribution Scheme to state the basis for determining the contributions to be paid in respect of public infrastructure and facilities, in accordance with the terms of the Scheme. When publishing a said Scheme, the Capital projects which will benefit from funding must be clearly outlined. The current Development Contribution Schemes are linked to the projects prioritised in the Capital Programme. The projects must be clearly outlined and detailed so that each developer / member of the public can identify expenditure clearly. Setting aside funding from contributions collected is contradictory to statutory requirements.
The Council can only commence the taking in charge process where requested to do so by the developer or a majority of the house owners in accordance with the requirements of Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended. All of the historical reports outlined to the Municipal District in January identify policies for dealing with and prioritising older housing estates which have not been taken in charge. The Council has been very pro-active in taking in charge all private housing estates where requested to do so.