27 May 2010 Edition
Councils owed millions in unpaid levies
The Kerry North TD was responding to reports detailing the extent to which councils around the country are in severe financial difficulties largely due to the collapse of the property market and house prices. This news came on the back of reports that Kerry Councillors are currently de-zoning land to curb the huge supply of development land.
questions needed to be asked
Ferris said that questions needed to be asked about the large amounts of money awarded to private contractors in situations where the proper tendering procedures do not appear to have been adhered to.
“The fact that so many local authorities are currently in debt, which is having an adverse impact on services, while at the same time being owed vast sums of money by developers is an absurd situation,” he said. “These people, many of whom made huge amounts of money during the property boom need to be pursued and the unpaid levies need to be collected in order to address the debt crisis and to ease the pressure on local authority finances and services.
“Of course many of the properties of these developers will soon become assets of the state when NAMA takes on their debts. Under this new situation local authorities must be prioritised in housing the thousands of people on social housing waiting lists throughout the state.”
Councillors in Kerry are voting on proposals to de-zone almost 400 acres of development land, as county council planners move to reduce the huge over-supply of building land.
It is estimated that councillors in Kerry have zoned enough land for development to cater for the needs of the population of Munster.
Local authorities around the state are cutting back drastically by de-zoning development land.
Wexford and Clare, like Kerry, are among the local authorities who have taken steps to de-zone hundreds of acres of land.
This land, realistically, has little prospect of being developed in the current economic climate.
Councillors are acting now because imminent new legislation will force them to review land zoning if they have not already done so.