Unpaid Development Levies – Fingal County Council

The question: “To ask the Chief Executive to provide an outline of the process, legal or otherwise, that is used to recover unpaid development levies and to include a report on the levies outstanding for each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Could the report detail the number of developers and the amount owed by each?” was put down by Cllr Barry Martin at the October County Council meeting.

Reply: Development levy accounts are considered to be in arrears when the level of buildings on site, that are completed and occupied, exceeds the level of levies paid on a pro rata basis. On receipt of a Commencement Notice, the Council issues an invoice in respect of the full amount of the applicable levy. Contact between the Council and Developer is initiated and payment of the levy, either in full or by phased payments, is discussed and agreed.

It should be noted that the Council refuses to issue the requisite letters of compliance to facilitate close of sale, in cases considered to be in arrears. If this agreement is broken and the situation cannot be resolved through discussions, legal proceedings are instituted under Section 48 (15) (c) of the Planning & Development Acts 2000-2015. While the initiation of this process and continued discussions usually resolves the arrears issue prior to Court Hearing it has been necessary to secure Judgements in a number of cases. For example, a sum of €7.9 million is currently considered to be in arrears as follows:

i. Solicitors letter issued – €1.2 million
ii. Judgement Granted – €1.1 million
iii. Payment plan agreed – €0.5 million
iv. Various stages legally between (i) & (ii) – €3.2 million v. Developer in Receivership/Liquidation – €1.9 million
TOTAL €7.9 million

The following is a summary of the arrears position in respect of the years in question: Year No. of Accounts Arrears (€ million)
2009 29 4.70
2010 55 5.65
2011 77 6.20
2012 92 6.60
2013 204 8.57
2014 230 8.37

There are currently 200 “live” accounts in arrears and the amounts due are summarised below: Amount € No. of Accounts
500,000 – 800,000 3
100,000 – 500,000 11
50,000 – 100,000 9
25,000 – 50,000 25
Less than 25,000 152
TOTAL 200