Planning charges for a Cork house triple after it moves from the county into the city

Planning charges for a Cork house triple after it moves from the county into the city

The Echo has been made aware of one case where the planning contributions for a house close to the new city/county boundary skyrocketed from €4,600 to €12,300. File Pic: Denis Minihane.

PEOPLE who have been granted planning permission for homes that were moved into the city jurisdiction following the boundary expansion have been hit with hugely inflated development charges amounting to thousands of euro.

Councillors have heavily criticised what they have described as “hidden charges” for sites moved to the city.

May’s boundary extension saw Ballincollig, Glanmire, Blarney, Grange, and south Douglas all transferred into an expanded city boundary.

It has emerged that a legal technicality means applicants for planning that received a decision to grant conditional permission by Cork County Council have been saddled with massive development charge increases because their sites are classed as city properties.

The Echo has been made aware of one case where the planning contributions for a house close to the new city/county boundary skyrocketed from €4,600 to €12,300.

Another planning applicant for a two-storey house was appalled to learn their development charges tripled from €3,000 to €9,000 despite the site being several miles from the city centre.

Development contributions in the city are calculated on rates for road, infrastructure, stormwater management, and parks, recreation, and amenities up to €52.70 per square metre. The county’s development contributions for dwelling houses are charged at a much lower rate of €24.49 per square metre.

A spokesperson for Cork City Council said the extra charges on former county planning applications have been applied because of national legislation and City Hall has no role in the matter.

“Cork City Council did not apply the city contribution scheme to the planning applications,” said the spokesperson.

“Cork County Council applied the city council contribution scheme to the decisions they made on planning applications which they had on hand on transfer day and where the decision was made after transfer day.

“Cork County Council is legally obliged to apply the city scheme to decisions that they make after the transfer date [as per] Section 31 (4) of the Local Government Act 2019 refers.”

City councillor Ken O’Flynn said the extra costs could make or break a housebuilding project for many people.

“Promises were given to us that nothing would change when people entered into the city,” he said.

“We were given undertakings by the management of the two local authorities and by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as well that nothing would change for citizens entering the city.

“This is adding to worry and problems of young couples that have been lucky enough to find sites, but have their shoulder to the wheel on prices. This is a nasty jump on charges.”

Councillor Ger Keohane said the issue was unforeseen by many people seeking planning permission and could lead to house builds being abandoned.

From May 31, when the Cork City boundary extension took effect, up to and including September 30, some 125 planning applications in total were received in former county areas that were subsumed into Cork City as part of the boundary extension. All of these applications will now be subject to development charges levied by the city council.

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