Following on from the government's announcement on 25 April 2023 and as reported by us on 11 May 2023 regarding the additional measures in an effort to get more homes built quickly, the government has released further detail on how the temporary time-limited waiver in respect of development contributions will work in practice.
The waiver of development levies was widely welcomed by the sector but the impact of this has yet to be seen. There have already been calls from some parties to extend the time limit of the waiver.
To qualify for a waiver of development contributions, the residential development must:
a. Commence on site between 25 April 2023 and 24 April 2024 (linked with the timing of submission of commencement notices and 7 day notices); and
b. Be completed no later than 31 December 2025.
The above dates are irrespective of the date on which the planning permission was granted.
The government has now clarified that the waiver arrangements will also apply to developments of which:
(i) "commencement notices" were submitted to the local authority within the 28 day period prior to 25 April 2023 i.e. on or after 28 March 2023; or
(ii) "7 day notices" were submitted to the local authority on or after 04 April 2023.
This clarification will be welcome and will include sites where commencement / 7-day notices had issued prior to the announcement but works had not yet started.
The waiver scheme will also apply to all permitted residential development, including:
- multi-unit developments;
- self-build houses;
- one off rural houses;
- student accommodation; and
- sheltered housing;
but does not apply to residential extensions or the refurbishment of existing vacant / derelict properties.
The waiver scheme also does not apply to supplementary development contributions payable under Section 49 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 ( as amended).
To avail of the waiver, applicants will be required to submit a Development Contribution Waiver Scheme Application Form to the relevant local authority together with the commencement notice in respect of the development, or in the case of single unit developments confirmation of the date of commencement of works on the site. The local authority will then assess whether the development falls within the parameters of the scheme and if it does, the local authority will issue a waiver approval letter to the applicant, together with an undertaking which must be signed by the applicant. The undertaking provides that if the applicant does not comply with the time limits set out above, the monies waived are repayable.
Once the local authority confirms that the waiver applies and issues letter to the applicant to confirm this, the applicant can then submit a copy of this letter to Uisce Éireann and complete an application form for Uisce Éireann to avail of that connections refund scheme.
It remains to be seen how quickly the local authorities will be able to turn around these applications. However, the government has committed to supporting local authorities as necessary in the delivery of the new scheme, and we welcome all measures to accelerate and incentivise the delivery of housing.
For more information, please contact Caoimhe Banks or any other member of the housing team in Beauchamps.