AKC News // €100,000 Planning fee unfair, say developers

The construction industry has condemned a €100,000 fee to be charged by An Bord Pleanla for an application to build major infrastructure projects and warned it could push investors offshore.

An Bord Pleanla announced new fees today, saying the changes were the result of a major revision of fees in relation to appeals and referrals.
From December 10th, they will include a €100,000 fee for a strategic infrastructure development application. There is currently no charge for such an application.

Appeal fees relating to commercial developments will also increase from €630 to up to €3000 or for unauthorised developments from €1900 to €9,000.

Other changes include an increase in fees for members of the public who wish to appeal against ordinary planning decisions, from €210 to €220.

Construction Industry Federation director Hubert Fitzpatrick said it was unfair that the state advocated private industry to undertake projects of national and regional importance to achieve its policy objectives.

"At the same time, it wants to push all of the costs of the planning application process onto the construction industry, at a time when the industry is experiencing significant cost pressures."

The costs involved in designing major infrastructural projects and preparing planning applications were extremely high with the cost of business in Ireland was already "amongst the highest in the world", he said.

"Arbitrarily adding another €100,000 to the cost of simply making the application shows little understanding! There comes a point at which costs are so excessive that investors look to less risky investment opportunities, whether in Ireland or abroad," he said.

However, Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, who approved the fees, said they were necessary. He said it was vital that applicants seeking planning for big projects pay a fee that was commensurate with the quality of the service being provided.

Source: Anna Chalmers, Irish Times, 12-09-2007

An schedule of Guide to Fees payable to the Board - 2007 is available in our General Cost Data section.

Date : 12-09-2007