A guide to Vacant Land legislation in Ireland

guide to irelands vacant land levy

January 2017 saw the introduction of Vacant Land Registers in Ireland. Since then, Irish authorities have been required to list all vacant sites from within their area that are suitable for development.

As of January 2018, vacant sites which are bigger than 0.05 of a hectare (excluding gardens) will be subject to the Vacant Site Levy, as set out in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015.

Developers and landowners of unused land will face an annual charge equivalent to 3% of the market value of the land in question. This fee will be payable in arrears from the beginning of 2019.

As an example, land that is valued at €300,000 would incur an annual charge of €9,000.

The aim is to incentivise those responsible for vacant land to develop on it to boost available housing stock and combat the housing crisis.

As quoted in the circular letter to the Directors of Planning Services last July: “land is a finite resource and should be used efficiently especially in urban areas. There are currently a considerable number of vacant sites in urban areas throughout the country which are lying dormant and undeveloped by their beneficial owners.”

The letter continues: “In Dublin City alone, it is estimated that there are presently over 280 reasonably-sized, vacant, undeveloped sites in the area between the two canals – involving approximately 60 hectares of land – many of which have the potential to be developed for residential and other purposes.

What is classed as vacant land?

In terms of residential land, it is considered vacant if it is suitable for housing, is situated in an area where there is a need for housing, and/or the site, or the majority of the site, is not in use.

For regeneration land, the site is considered vacant if it is idle and has unfavourable effects on or reduces amenities, or if it has a negative impact on the area’s character.

vacant sites in ireland

About our Vacant Land module for APAS

With planning departments already under pressure, the maintenance of the Vacant Land Register, and management of the Vacant Land Levy, will add to their already busy workloads.

At Agile Applications, we understand how in demand planning departments are, and how busy the workload can get, which is why we’ve developed software to help streamline and simplify processes – thus reducing the burden on planning teams.

In response to the Vacant Land legislation, we’ve produced a facility with automatic and manual links to our other products, such as planning, enforcements and building control, which will make the management of Vacant Land and any associated charges, simpler and easier for Irish authorities.

If you want to discuss our vacant land solution, or any of our other planning and building control modules, get in touch and one of our consultants will get back to you.

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