Written Answers. - Local Authority Funding.

Conor Lenihan

Ceist:

375 Mr. C. Lenihan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his plans to introduce legislative measures to reduce the burden of local authority charges for roads, water, sewerage and other public services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27588/01]

Development contributions are an important source of funding for necessary infrastructure, such as roads and sewers which are supportive of development and which would otherwise have to be provided at public expense by the local authority. Under section 48 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, planning authorities must draw up a scheme of development contributions to cover the estimated cost of infrastructure provided in their areas. However, in setting out the contributions to be paid, local authorities will be able to provide for the payment of reduced or no contributions where they consider this appropriate.

Draft regulations, which will enable the development control provisions of the Act, including those on development contributions, to be brought into force, have been prepared by my Department and sent on an informal basis to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment and Local Government. Oireachtas approval of the regulations is required and I hope to be in a position to make the regulations shortly.