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Home : Corporate Services : Corporate Services : Council Meetings : Kildare County Council Meetings : 2011 : Minutes

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Minutes of Special Meeting

held at 10.00 a.m. on Monday, 14 February 2011 at

Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co Kildare


Members Present: Councillor B Weld (Mayor); Councillors F Browne, K Byrne, W Callaghan, L Doyle, S Doyle, S Griffin, M Heydon, P Kennedy,S Langan, A Lawlor, P McEvoy, J. McGinley, M Miley, S Moore, C Murphy, M Nolan, F O'Loughlin, F O’Rourke, C Purcell, D Scully and M Wall.

Apologies: Councillors R Daly; P McNamara and T. O’Donnell

Also Present: Mr M Malone (County Manager), Mr. J. Lahart (Directors of Services, Planning), Mrs. A. Rowan (Senior Executive Officer, Planning) and Pamela Pender (Staff Officer, Planning)


Draft Development Contribution Scheme

The Mayor opened the meeting by presenting the Draft Development Contribution Scheme and Managers Report, copies of which had circulated to all members. The Mayor advised members that a brief recess would be called at 10.30 am to discuss technical queries arising from the Draft Development Contribution Scheme and the meeting would resume at 11.15 am.

Mr Lahart outlined the contents of the report referring to anomalies which had been identified in the current 2004 Scheme. These anomalies, along with issues raised by An Bord Pleanala, have been dealt with in the Draft Development Contribution Scheme now before the members.

In preparing the scheme the current economic climate was taken into consideration and all measures were taken to avoid rate increases. The Capital Programme sets out the required infrastructure for Kildare over the period 2011-2013.

However, the County cannot provide investment if money is not available and funds collected through the Development Contribution Scheme play a role in co-funding the Capital Programme.

The projections available for residential and non-residential development are currently unreliable as the status quo changes on a daily basis. In 2009, Kildare County Council granted planning permission to 1500 residential units. Rates are determined by the finance required to co-fund the Capital Programme and any reduction in rates will see a reduction in the capital works that proceed.

Ms Rowan outlined the process of making a Development Contribution Scheme, a requirement under Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2002, and its benefits to Kildare, reiterating the need for funding to assist in delivering the Capital Programme.

The process of the review undertaken, the preparation and circulation of the draft scheme were discussed in detail. In making comparisons between the 2004 and the proposed 2011 scheme key changes were highlighted to members as follows:

• No change to residential rates or current commercial rates

• Introduction of indexation.

• Rates applicable to quarry development.

• Residential extensions will be levied under the proposed scheme

• A new Category A: Miscellaneous development; has been introduced under the proposed scheme which includes masts, car parks, golf courses etc.

• Protected structures listed in the Record of Protected Structures will see all contributions imposed reduced by 50%.

• Any development required to be carried out under EU directives in the agricultural sector would be exempt from contribution charges subject to submission of documentation.

• The exemption for horticulture, agriculture and equine developments would decrease from 500 sqm in the 2004 Scheme, to 300 sqm.

The first submission of the Managers Report was read out to the members.

Councillor McGinley stated that the serious economic crisis had not been considered when preparing the draft scheme with the agricultural sector in particular being targeted. Clarification was requested as to whether, if the draft scheme was not voted in would the 2004 Scheme continue in its current format.

Mr Lahart advised that there would be no scheme in place and the Planning Authority would not be in a position to impose any contributions on planning files.

The Mayor proposed adjourning from 10.30 am to 11.15 am for group leaders to meet to discuss technical issues arising from the draft scheme. Councillor Murphy opposed a recess stating that the public needed to be aware and see the process in full.

The Mayor outlined that discussion would resume on the draft scheme in the Chamber at 11.15, that only technical issues would be discussed during recess.

Councillor O’Loughlin stated that the current scheme terminates on the 23 February 2011.

Councillor Lawlor commented on the Managers Report stating that the members are required by statute to have access to the report for a period of 6 weeks prior to making a decision. The Mayor acknowledged this fact noting that the following options were available to the members at this time.

1. Adopt the draft scheme as presented

2. Adopt and modify the draft scheme

3. In some way re-establish the 2004 Scheme and continue with it by:

a. Passing a resolution to bring the 2004 Scheme in as the New Scheme or;

b. Re-assess the draft scheme’ currently before members.

It was agreed that no recess would be required and the meeting continued.

In considering the options available Councillor Miley asked if the 2004 Scheme needed to go back on display. Mr Malone reiterated the options available.

Councillor Purcell proposed that the members select option 3 (a) above passing a resolution to bring the 2004 Scheme in as the New Scheme. Councillor McGinley seconded the proposal.

Councillor Griffin advised members to be mindful of the constraints on the public in the current economic climate citing concerns with continuing the 2004 scheme without adjusting rates. A short period of 3-4 months to defer the making of a revised scheme is acceptable.

Councillor S Doyle asked if the plan could be amended to reflect the Construction Price Index, adjusting downward. She requested clarification as to whether the 2004 Scheme could be adopted, incorporating protected structures and recommending introduction of a tiered rate for the commercial sector. She also questioned why her submission was not included in the Managers Report. Mr Lahart advised the councillor that the submission was received outside of the closing date for submissions.

The Mayor put it to the members that agreement be reached to adopt the 2004 scheme as the New Scheme and defer decision on a further revised scheme until September 2011. Mr Lahart advised members that the statutory process comprised of 16 weeks to completion.

Mr Malone confirmed that a revised scheme would be brought back to full Council in September for consideration, allowing time for holidays etc.

Councillor O’Loughlin raised concerns regarding the omission of Councillor Doyle’s submission from the Managers Report. Other issues revolved around the application of the car parking shortfall levy to local business trying to provide a service and employment in small towns. Councillor O’Loughlin requested a re-examination of car park contributions.

Councillor S Doyle continued with an explanation of the difficulties surrounding her submission to the Draft Development Contribution Scheme.

The Mayor received a proposal from Councillor Purcell, seconded by Councillor McGinley that the current 2004 Scheme would be extended until 14 September 2011. In the interim a further scheme will be advertised and he re-iterated the importance to members and the public of making submissions and engaging in the statutory process.

Resolved that pursuant to the provisions of Section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2010, and following consideration of the Draft Scheme prepared pursuant to the said Section 48, and the report of the County Manager prepared under subsection 6 of the said Section 48, and having regard to any recommendations made by the Minister and any other submissions received, the elected members of Kildare County Council resolved, on the 14 February 2011, to modify the Development Contributions Scheme otherwise than in accordance with the recommendation of the County Manager in his report and to make a Development Contribution Scheme (the 2011 Scheme) as follows:-

• The contributions and criteria set out in the 2004 Scheme shall be applied in the 2011 Scheme.

• The 2011 Scheme shall supersede the existing Development Contribution Scheme (the 2004 Scheme).

• The revised contributions shall be applied to all grants of permission following the adoption of the 2011 Scheme, whereupon the 2004 Scheme shall no longer apply.

• The 2011 Scheme shall be reviewed not later than 14 September 2011.


The meeting concluded.