Two weeks ago, Michelle Devane writing for The Sunday Business Post broke the story of Wicklow County Council demanding 21 homeowners to pay 2,500 euro each because their estate’s developer did not pay development fees to the council. This was the first such move against home owners by any local authority and, after getting support this week from the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, it appears that other local authorities are now free to follow suit.
The homeowners argue that they are not liable because it is a fee applied to developers when they get planning permission and it becomes a cost of building – which is factored into the price of the property. However, Wicklow County Council is arguing that the levy is a charge on the property itself, not on an individual or developer.
Kerry County Council have come forward to confirm that they will not be pursuing home owners for liabilities, considered to attach to the developers. This move is to be welcomed and we urge other local authorities nationwide to follow the lead of Kerry County Council.
Any home owners nationwide affected by the issue please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to ensure that the liability rests where it should.