No fee increase for people wanting to regularise building illegalities

Over the next 12 months, property owners will not pay a surcharge of 25% as had been originally envisaged in a 2016 scheme to regularise building illegalities 

A scheme to regularise building illegalities has been extended for another year
A scheme to regularise building illegalities has been extended for another year

A scheme to regularise building illegalities that started two years ago was meant to penalise property owners by a further 25% if the scheme was extended for a third year.

But the Planning Authority announced this morning that people benefitting from the scheme over the next 12 months will not be charged an additional 25% in fees.

“Following the overwhelming response in applications received over the past two years, the Planning Authority decided to retain the applicable rate for a further year, giving owners the chance to benefit from this one-time opportunity,” the authority said, adding the relevant legal notice was amended to reflect the change.

Over the past two years, more than 10,000 submissions were received from property owners, of which 8,155 were approved. The authority collected €15.7 million through this scheme.

The scheme that started in August 2016 was intended to facilitate the sale of properties, which were idle on the market due to irregularities that could not be sanctioned.

Regularisation can only be considered if a property is located entirely within the development boundaries and appears in the PA’s aerial photos of 2016. Any irregularities after 2016 cannot be regularised.

Another condition is that the illegality cannot be creating an injury to amenity and the use of the building must be according to current policies.

If one of these conditions cannot be satisfied, then the scheme cannot be applied.

Fees charged are calculated on the total and combined roofed over area of each floor of the property being regularised.  

The PA said the majority of the monies collected from this scheme, up to 70%, are utilised for community schemes such as the Irrestawra Darek grant scheme, while 20% is allocated towards funds used by localities in community improvement projects.

More in Townscapes