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Galway City Council Development Contribution Scheme 2020-2026

Galway City Council  Development Contribution Scheme 2020-2026

Section 48 (1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended, enables a planning authority, when granting a planning permission under Section 34 of the Act, to include conditions for requiring the payment of a contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the planning authority, and that is provided, or that it is intended will be provided, by or on behalf of a local authority (regardless of other sources of funding for the infrastructure and facilities).


Under the scheme the contributions to be paid (except where an exemption or a reduced contribution applies) in respect of the different classes of public infrastructure and facilities are as follows:

€ per square metre of Residential Development

€ per square metre of Non Residential Development




This Scheme will take effect from 1st May 2021 until 31st December 2026 unless a new scheme is adopted beforehand. (The scheme may be extended after 31st December 2026).

The Scheme may be reviewed from time to time by the Council having regard to circumstances prevailing at the time. After a review of the Scheme, a new scheme may be made.

The above rates shall be fixed from the commencement of the Scheme. This Scheme will be applicable in respect of existing permissions granted before this date which have not yet commenced as provided for in Section 48 (3A) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).

Consideration may be given to applying indexation to the rates of contribution effective from 1st January 2022 in consideration of the SCSI Construction Tender Price Index.


Definitions of Waivers and Reductions


Section 48 (3) (c) of the Act allows for a reduction in contributions or exemption from payment of a contribution in certain circumstances as defined under the terms of the Scheme.

The following categories of development are those where such reductions or waivers from the requirement to pay the full development contributions will apply. In this regard targeted support has been directed at promoting social inclusion, sustainable development and economic activity. These rates do not include where exceptional costs might have to be incurred to provide a specific public facility or piece of infrastructure and application of an additional contribution may apply.


Category of Development

Reduction %

R (@ residential rate)

N (@ non- residential rate)


Provision of facilities by organisations considered to be exempt from Planning fees as outlined in Part 12, Article 157 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 as amended



General community facilities provided for by voluntary or not-for-profit groups that are recognised by the Council as such, e.g. community childcare facilities, youth centres supported /sheltered accommodation




Non-fee paying primary schools and secondary schools



Development to be used exclusively for social, recreational or religious purposes and not to be used for any profit or gain



Development to be used as a workshop, training facility, hostel or other accommodation specifically for persons with disabilities and not to be used for any profit or gain



Development solely in respect of the element of works in receipt of a Housing Adaption Grant



Social housing units, which are purchased in accordance with an agreement made under Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000 Act (as amended) or which are provided by or on behalf of a Voluntary or Co-operative housing body which is recognised as such by the Council, in accordance with an agreement made under Part V of the Act (as amended)



Affordable housing units provided, in accordance with an agreement made under Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended), or which are provided by a voluntary or co-operative housing body which is recognised as such by the Council or as part of the Government’s various Affordable Housing Schemes



Housing units made available under the Council’s Scheme of Priority for Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements under Section 85 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 as amended and the Housing

(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Part 5) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 81 of 2019)



Domestic extensions to dwellings including ‘granny flats’, shed/store /garages used solely for purposes incidental to a dwelling house



Modification/revision to a permitted  live grant of permission for residential development, including a change of house type or amendment to a site layout, but only where the scale of the house doesn’t increases by more than 40 m2. The contribution payable at commencement will regardless be in accordance with Section 48 (3A) of the Planning and Development Act 2000

No change in rate from the original development contribution in certain circumstances


Restoration/refurbishment works on protected structures (listed on RPS) where the Planning Authority is satisfied that the works substantially contribute to the conservation /restoration of the protected structure. Where this involves an increase in floor space full rate of contribution will apply to the additional floor space

30% *

(Residential/Non Residential)


The non-built elements of recreational facilities (e.g. Playing pitches, golf courses.

Note: The non-residential rate will apply to floor areas of associated buildings that have potential for commercial purposes (e.g. bars /function rooms)



In respect of permission for change of use the rate will depend on the opinion formed by the Planning Authority regarding the likely intensification of demand on infrastructure facilities including transportation.

(A) Where intensification of demand is considered following on the opinion formed by the Planning Authority a rate of an appropriate % of the normal rate will apply

(b) Where re-development/change of use of non-residential projects involves an increase in floor space the full rate of contribution will apply to the additional floor space 

% as deemed appropriate


Developments permitted by way of a temporary permission will attract a reduced rate

Note: If full (non-temporary) permission is subsequently granted, the normal rate, less any reduced rate already levied, will apply   

33% of the normal rate for permissions of up to 3 years;

50% of the normal rate for permissions of up to 5 years;

66% of the normal rate for permission of up to 10years


Where permission is granted to demolish in part or in full a non-residential building and replace with another of similar use

Note: Contributions will only apply to the increased floor area of the new build over the old



In the case of the replacement dwelling house where demolition is required and there is no increase in the number of units granted by permission



Agricultural Buildings and structures including horticultural development



Car parking assessed as being ancillary to the proposed development, and generally in line with maximum Development Plan standards, whether surface or non-surface which does not generate revenue



Car parking assessed as being non-ancillary to a proposed development or designed specifically for commercial renting


 (Non Residential)


Park and Ride Facilities - reduced rate when certified as contributing to the Galway Transportation Strategy and / or Smarter Travel initiatives


(Non Residential)


Bus garages /forecourts


(Non Residential)


Vehicle display area spaces (for the purposes of sale)


(Non Residential)


Open storage / hard surface non-residential space development (uncovered storage space), including forecourt development, but not car-parking or truck parking


(Non Residential)


Masts and antennae, dish and other apparatus/equipment for communication purposes that form part of the National Broadband Scheme



Renewable energy development with a capacity up to 0.5MW will be exempt.

Note: Larger capacity development will be charged at €1,000 per each 0.1MW above an installed capacity of 0.5MW



Power Lines, Antennae Structures, Sewer / Drainage / Road Construction / Provision of infrastructural facilities



Substations / Switch Rooms/Ancillary plant rooms (where plant is not core activity/operation)



Signage / Shop Fronts, Entrance Gates / Railings / Fencing, Elevational Alterations, Internal layout change – Where no additional floor area is created



Buildings and structures where the primary use is for manufacturing (low tech), storage/warehousing and / or distribution


For clarification purposes, the following development is required to pay development contributions:


  • Third level educational institutions
  • Student accommodation
  • Fee paying schools
  • Hospitals, medical facilities, primary care centres and similar developments including any ancillary buildings




TEMPORARY PERMISSIONS: Temporary permissions shall be liable for development contributions at 50% of the applicable rate of contribution. Further temporary permissions granted for the same development will not be charged provided they are granted within 5 years from the expiry date of the original temporary grant of permission (a maximum of one such additional temporary permission will apply). In cases where a subsequent full planning permission is granted for the same development the contribution payable on the new proposal will be net of the amount already paid.


RETENTION PERMISSIONS: Irrespective of the exceptions/reductions set out in Table 5 in the case of retention permissions, No reductions in whole or in part shall apply to permissions for retention of development. All such development contributions will be charged at a multiple of 1.25 times the applicable rate of development contributions.

MAXIMUM REDUCTIONS/EXEMPTION: Although a development may qualify for a number of reductions/exemptions under the Scheme, the Council will grant only one category of reduction/exemption, whichever is the most financially advantageous to the developer.



FLOOR AREA: The floor area of proposed permitted development shall be calculated as the gross

floor area. This means the area ascertained by the internal measurement of the floors pace on each floor of a building (including internal walls and partitions) and including mezzanine floors. In the case of multi-unit residential buildings, only the gross floor area of each residential unit will be included. The details should be included in the planning application in the schedule of accommodation.


The contributions under the Scheme shall be payable prior to commencement of development or as otherwise agreed by the Council.

The Council may facilitate the phased payment of contributions payable under the Scheme, and the Council may require the giving of security to ensure payment of contributions, where the contribution exceeds €100,000.

The Council, in accordance with statutory powers, may recover as a simple contract debt in a court of competent jurisdiction any contribution (including interest and legal costs) due to it under the terms of this scheme.  Furthermore, the Council may instigate enforcement action under the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended in respect of unpaid development contributions and all associated costs and fees.


An appeal may be brought to the Board where the applicant for planning permission under Section 34 of the Act considers that the terms of the Scheme have not been properly applied in respect of any conditions laid down by the Council.