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Home-builder levied but not big developer

YOU carried an item (April 13) on the non-payment to local authorities of half a billion euro in development levies.

Reading this brought to mind yet again just how much the bankers and developers are being allowed to get away with this by the Government.

The Galway races tent may be no more, but the cronyism that it fostered remains.

Contrast the treatment of big developers — who owe e19m to Cork County Council alone — with that meted out to the unfortunate individual who decides to build a house.

Levies, which could be as high as e10,000 or even e15,000, are imposed and payment is demanded before development commences.

Heaven help this individual if payment is not made on time. Threats of enforcement notices followed by court proceedings are issued and punitive interest is added to cover the period during which payment is delayed.

I wonder if the ordinary house-builder, who in the majority of cases needs to provide his or her own services, is actually getting value for the money paid. The big developers, on the other hand, caused huge strain on existing public services, but it now seems they will be allowed to escape their responsibilities. Concrete jungles all round us with little or no thought given to social and recreational facilities, schools, churches, etc, just to accommodate these cowboy developments and where the outstanding development levies should be spent. Once more the individual suffers while corporate Ireland continues to prosper at the public expense, ably assisted by those in power.

Cllr Noel Collins


Co Cork


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