Housing Estates - Taking in Charge of Estates
This information sets out what is meant by the term ‘taking in charge’, who can seek to have a completed development taken in charge and the procedures involved.
This is intended as a practical guide. It is not a definitive legal interpretation of planning law. For further information, you should contact Galway City Council Transportation Department.
1. What is taking in charge?
Taking in charge is a formal legal process by which responsibility for certain public areas, structures and services in a private residential development or estate are transferred to, or put in the charge of, a local authority.
When a residential development is complete, the developer or the majority of the homeowners may submit a written request to the local authority to have the development taken in charge Form TIC 1 (2014) or Form TIC 2 (2014) If the local authority is satisfied that the development has been completed in compliance with the conditions of the planning permission and the local authority’s technical requirements, then it is required to take control of the operation, maintenance and upkeep of the public roads, lighting and similar services.
The Roads department commence the statutory procedure. This entails public notice being given and stating that objections or representations may be made to the Council. The making of an order that an estate be taken in charge is a reserved function of the Council members.
2. What are the services and structures usually subject to taking in charge?
Examples of service and structures taken in charge by a local authority include:
- Roads and footpaths,
- Sewers, watermains and service connections (in agreement with Irish Water),
- Stormwater drainage,
- Open spaces and green areas,
- Car parks, and
- Fire services including fire hydrants.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and the position may vary across local authorities.
3. Is taking in charge relevant to where I live?
This will depend on a number of factors including:
- the planning permission for the development where you live and any conditions attached to that grant of planning permission;
- whether the development is complete; and
- the type of estate, conventional or traditional housing estate, infill development, multi-unit development, etc.
4. What is the role of a local authority in the taking in charge process?
The local authority must be satisfied that the development has been completed in accordance with any conditions attached to the planning permission. Subject to certain provisions, upon the request of a developer or a majority of the homeowners in the development, a local authority is required to take charge of the roads and related services.
A local authority, when it issues a grant of planning permission, may require a developer to lodge with the local authority a cash sum or an insurance security bond. The sum or bond is released back to the developer when the development has been completed to the satisfaction of the local authority Form DS1 Where the development is not completed to the local authority’s satisfaction, it may use all or part of the money to complete the works.
A local authority also engages with Irish Water regarding the taking in charge of water services.
Galway City Council has a taking in charge policy and procedure. These documents are available at: https://www.galwaycity.ie/traffic-transport-parking
5. Do councillors (elected members) have a role?
Yes. Councillors are responsible for considering objections or representations regarding a proposal for the taking in charge of the roads and services in a development. They are also responsible for making the order for taking a road in charge. This is done by a resolution passed at a council meeting. The making of an order that an estate be taken in charge is a reserved function of the Council members.
6. Is there legislation I should know about?
Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, as amended and
Section 11 of the Roads Act, 1993 provide the main legal basis for taking in charge.
7. Where do I find out about a grant of planning permission for my estate?
The planning department of your local authority keeps records of planning applications and decisions. Each application will have a planning file with a unique application reference or file number. Galway City Council operates a web-based planning application system, and records are available online at: https://www.galwaycity.ie/online-planning-system
8. What is the role of builders and developers in taking in charge?
A builder or developer may request a local authority to take in charge the public roads and related services of an estate Form TIC 1 (2014) The developer is required to complete the works in accordance with the planning permission and any conditions attached to the permission, and to the satisfaction of the local authority in line with its taking in charge policy and procedures, and roads and water services standards G.C.C. TIC Policy. Usually, the developer must submit a completion certificate to the local authority. Drawings of ‘as-constructed’ roads and a drainage survey may be required. If required, any wayleaves and transfers of title (for example, in relation to public open spaces) must also be arranged.
9. What role does a residents’ association have?
A residents’ association may request that the local authority take in charge the public areas in the estate where they live. Form TIC 2 (2014)
10. Do Irish Water or other utility companies have a role?
A local authority will engage with Irish Water in relation to the taking in charge of water services.
11. Are there costs involved with the taking in charge process?
The costs of completing public areas to the satisfaction of the local authority and in accordance with the planning permission are a matter for the developer.
12. How does taking in charge work in apartments and other multi-unit developments?
Taking in charge does not usually apply to private areas of an estate owned by an owners’ management company (OMC) on behalf of the residents.
A planning permission and any conditions attached to the construction of a multi-unit development (MUD) will define the parts of an estate to be transferred by the developer to the OMC. It will usually set out the parts of the estate, if any, to be taken in charge by the local authority. For example, it could be that the roads in a MUD comprise a mix of public and private roads, where public roads are subject to taking in charge, and private roads are owned and managed by an OMC.
13. What role in taking in charge has an owners’ management company (OMC) and its agent?
An OMC owns and controls the common areas of a multi-unit development (MUD). Under the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 (MUD Act), the transfer of common areas does not relieve a developer of its obligation to complete an estate in compliance with the requirements and conditions of a planning permission.
A developer must provide an OMC with confirmation that an estate has been completed in accordance with all relevant planning permissions except for a condition relating to the payment of a financial contribution.
14. What about ‘gated’ complexes?
Taking in charge does not normally apply to private residential complexes such as multi-unit developments, gated developments, retirement villages and holiday home developments that were authorised and operate on the basis of a private management company or other similar such arrangement.
15. Where can I obtain more information about taking in charge?
Galway City Council Taking In Charge Policy: G.C.C. TIC Policy
The law governing the planning system is set out in the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended and the Roads Act 1993. You can purchase these from the Government Publications Sales Office:
telephone (01) 6476834
or at email@example.com
or download them from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s website www.gov.ie/housing
Legislation is also available to view and download from www.irishstatutebook.ie.
Disclaimer: Issued March 2023. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this information, Galway City Council assumes no responsibility for and gives no guarantees concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and accepts no liability arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Forms and List of Estates Taken in Charge
Galway City Council Taking In Charge Policy for Private Housing Developments Application to have a Housing Development taken in charge by Galway City Council / Form TIC 1 (2014) Application to have a Housing Development taken in charge by Galway City Council by house-owners' Plebiscite/ FormTIC2-2014 Application for Security Bond Release / Form DS1 (2013) List of Housing Estates Taken in Charge_December 2022