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Written Answers - Local Authority Charges

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 423.  Deputy Patrick O’Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will provide a schedule on a matter (details supplied). [16719/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan As part of the process of preparing the National Housing Development Survey 2011, published by my Department in October 2011, local authorities provided details of all unfinished housing developments in their areas. Unfinished housing developments were divided into four categories as follows: category one, where the development is still being actively completed by the developer, or where no serious public safety issues exist; category two, where a receiver has been appointed; category three, where a receiver has not been appointed and the developer is still in place but effectively inactive; and category four, where the development has been effectively abandoned and is posing serious problems for residents

Other relevant factors for the purposes of the categorisation process include, inter alia: the state of completion of roads, footpaths, public lighting facilities, piped water and sewerage facilities and open spaces or similar amenities within the development; the extent to which the development complies with the terms of applicable planning permission; the extent to which it complies with the provisions of the Building Control Acts 1990 and 2007; the provisions of the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1964 as they pertain to dangerous places and [879]dangerous structures within the meaning of the Act; the extent to which facilities within the development have been taken in charge by the local authority concerned, and, where there is an agreement regarding the maintenance of such facilities, the extent to which this agreement has been complied with.

This categorisation formed the basis for the list of those unfinished developments eligible for a waiver on the annual household charge. Only households in developments in categories three and four are eligible for the waiver from payment of the household charge. The list of developments in which households are eligible for the waiver in 2012 is set out under the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012. A revised list of estates will be prescribed for 2013 after which time the waiver for unfinished housing developments will end. Throughout this period it is anticipated that the numbers of categories 3 and 4 developments will decrease significantly as my Department continues to work with local authorities and other stakeholders to resolve outstanding issues, including through the Public Safety Initiative. I will provide a copy of the list of estates received from Limerick County Council, and related correspondence, to the Deputy.

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