independent

Sunday 31 August 2014

Mallow town charges double for development

BILL BROWNE

Published 20/06/2013 | 05:26

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THE local tax on building a property in Mallow is more than twice the cost charged across the county.

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The high rate of development contributions charged by Mallow Town Council needs to be addressed in order to stimulate the creation of local jobs.

That's the view of Cllr Ronan Sheehan (Lab) who has called for the rate to be brought in line with that charged by Cork County Council.

Raising the issue at the town council's June monthly meeting, Cllr Sheehan said it was an issue that needed to be addressed "sooner rather than later".

The Planning and Developments Acts (2000-2004) allow for a local authority to charge a development fee as a condition of planning permission for the maintenance of public infrastructure and facilities.

These contributions can cover the upgrading of roads, additional water and sewage pipes and the provision of community facilities such as parks and walkways.

Cllr Sheehan said the high rates charged by Mallow Town Council must be "reviewed and reduced" to stimulate local growth.

Currently Mallow Town Council charges a commercial development contribution rate of €150.59 per square metre.

This is more than twice the rate of €59.18 per square metre charged by Cork County Council.

For example, a developer wishing to build a 354 square metre factory in Mallow would have to stump up a contribution of €53,312.01, compared to a figure of €20,949.72 in an area under the control of Cork County Council.

"There is a major discrepancy between the two rates, something that I believe works against Mallow in terms of attracting new inward investment. This in turn affects job creation," said Cllr Sheehan.

"I would like to see our rate brought in line with the county. I believe we have the power to do so and would like to see this happen sooner rather than later," he added.

His sentiments were echoed across the council chamber; with Cllr Jerry Mullally (Lab) saying he felt the rate was hindering development within the town.

Cllr Fergal Cronin (FG) said the creation of new jobs should be reason enough to reduce the rate.

Town manager Tom Stritch agreed that the rate should be equalised with that of Cork County Council as soon as possible and said he had already raised the issue with the director of planning at cork County Council.

Corkman

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