Cork County Council is to write to the Housing Minister calling for the start date for the scrapping of the development levies to be backdated to the start of the calendar year.
The government announced last month a series of new measures to encourage the supply of homes, including plans to scrap development levies for 12 months to encourage building by saving an average of €12,650 per home.
The measure took effect on April 25 and the government will reimburse local authorities so that they can continue to fund public infrastructure and services that would have been carried out through the levy.
Cllr John Paul O’Shea, who brought forward the motion, said he has been contacted by several people who feel ‘aggrieved’ that they fall outside the commencement date.
“The government announced the scrapping of the charges would apply from April 25 this year to April 24, 2024, so anyone who submits a commencement notice during that time will not be liable for the development charges," he explained.
"The house must be completed by December 31, 2025. While the announcement is very welcome, I have been contacted by several people who are producing a number of homes in our constituencies, but feel aggrieved that this date has been announced.
"I was contacted by one individual who is building a one-off house. He paid €6,200 in development charges to the council on April 13. He also paid €2,500 to connect to water. If people thought this was coming, they wouldn’t have started their houses.
“I would suggest that we write to the government and ask them to reconsider that any development charges paid from January 1 this year would be reimbursed to the applicants. A lot of the people that have commenced building houses since January 1 are doing their bit to alleviate the housing crisis and make themselves a family home. Any bit of support we can give them would be very important,” he added.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath echoed the sentiments of Cllr O’Shea. “I welcome this measure by the government," he said.
"It is clearly a stimulus measures to try and encourage building where there are valid planning permissions in place. It is an affordability and viability measure to try and bridge the gap for developments to take place. Going back to the start of the calendar year makes sense.”