New scheme seeks to stimulate development activity in Clare

Clare County Council today published a Draft Development Contribution Scheme containing a number of provisions to incentivise and promote development in County Clare. 

The scheme, which was unanimously approved this week by the 32 Elected Members of Clare County Council, is subject to a six-week public consultation process commencing in early June.

The Draft Scheme includes full exemption for agricultural development, new aviation-related enterprise at Shannon Airport and adjoining lands, and marine-related industry on strategic sites along the Shannon Estuary identified in the Clare County Development Plan.

The blueprint also contains a 33% reduction in the normal rate of development contributions for the expansion of existing manufacturing or industrial facilities, a similar reduction for non-residential developments that support town centre development, a 33% reduction for new businesses grant aided or supported by IDA/Enterprise Ireland with job creation potential, and a 50% reduction regarding the restoration of derelict properties and development within an architectural conservation area.

Mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Daly noted: “The Elected Members of Clare County Council fully support this Draft Scheme and the series of provisions which will help to stimulate residential and non-residential development activity within the County. There is a particular focus on incentivising and promoting development at the strategic locations of Shannon Airport and along the Shannon Estuary. While the scheme may generate less funding for infrastructural projects, the Elected Members and I feel that the Scheme is a prudent move in the current economic climate.”

Figures released by Clare County Council show that income generated by Development Contribution Levies in Clare fell from €7,957,043 to €1,131,726 in 2012.

“While the Scheme is based on a projection regarding residential and non-residential development during the remaining life of the Clare County Development Plan, a reduction in development contributions has been evident and is likely to continue into the future,” explained Gerard Dollard, Director of Services Planning & Enterprise Clare County Council.

Commenting on the background to the Draft Scheme, Mr. Dollard said: “The Council needs to balance the level of development contribution against the necessity to encourage and promote economic activity and job creation. Levies in County Clare have, and will continue to be at the lower end in terms of local authority levies generally.”

The Draft Scheme will be placed on public display for a six-week period from early June. During the public consultation period, the Scheme will be formally considered by the Strategic Policy Committee for Planning, Land Use and Transportation and also with the various agencies and stakeholders involved. Following the public consultation period, a Manager’s report will be prepared on the submissions made and it is at that point that a Scheme will be formally considered for adoption by the Clare’s Elected Members.