Development levy cut to act as stimulus for Limerick construction sector

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Developers investing in Limerick will pay smaller development levy contributions following a decision taken by Limerick City and County Council.

Developers investing in Limerick will pay smaller development levy contributions following a decision taken by Limerick City and County Council.

Rates have been cut across the board in the Development Contribution Scheme 2017‐2021 in a bid to stimulate construction across commercial and residential sectors of the industry.

This new scheme is the first joint contribution scheme for the city and county since the amalgamation of the authorities in 2014. A review of both schemes highlighted many areas of difference including the way in which residential developments were charged, how extensions were treated, and how the councils dealt with protected structures.

The adoption of the new Development Contribution Scheme by councillors has provided a clearer way forward and a range of incentives for developers to focus on Limerick.

There is a specific focus on development opportunities within the city centre. The levy for office developments in the city centre has been cut from €75 per square metre to €25, while elsewhere it will be reduced to €50 per square metre.

In addition any development where the applicant’s business is grant aided by IDA, Enterprise Ireland or Local Enterprise Office will get a 50% reduction.

All commercial developments earmarked for regeneration areas in Limerick will be exempt from paying the development contribution.

On the residential side, the scheme has been simplified. The 2017-2021 Scheme will carry levies of €7 per square metre for houses in the city centre, regeneration areas, in town centres with zoning as well as infill and derelict sites in all towns and villages. Developments outside these areas will be levied at €20 per square metre.

Extensions up to 60 square metres will be exempt from the contribution levy, while the redevelopment of a protected structure for residential or commercial purposes will also be levy free.

There will be a reduction for residential and commercial developments that achieve a BER rating of A.

Between 2013 and 2015 the combined total received for development levies in Limerick was €5.4 million. Analysis carried out by the Economic Development Directorate of Limerick City and County Council expects the estimated yield from the new contribution scheme to be in the region of €20 million, split 52%:48% in favour of the commercial side.

This money has been earmarked for expenditure under a number of headings including Recreation and Amenities, Community and Tourism, Transport and Surface Water and Forward Planning.

Among the projects to benefit from the development contribution levy are the Design for M20 link to South City, Distributor Roads as identified in Local Area Plans, N21 Abbeyfeale Traffic Management, UL to city centre bus corridor, public Wi‐Fi in the city and rural towns, and the Great Southern Trail.

Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Noel Gleeson, who heads up the Economic Development SPC, which introduced the scheme said: “The aim of the new scheme is to address the housing shortage and dereliction and to promote economic activity as well as energy efficiency.”

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