Council may write off 4m euro debt

laois County Council have been forced to all but give up getting E4.1 million of cash owed by developers, and county hall’s top official has warned that money from builders has now dried up.

laois County Council have been forced to all but give up getting E4.1 million of cash owed by developers, and county hall’s top official has warned that money from builders has now dried up.

According to the council’s audit report for 2009, the council has almost halved from E23.1million to just E12.84m its development fund. Of this E6.1m has been used in water services, recreation and amenity and road and transportation areas.

Howeve, Mr Carey said that E4.1million was related to “a reduction in the realisable development contribution debtors at year end.”

Speaking to the Leinster Express, this week, head of finance Gerry Murphy explained that the E4.1m was not a write off, but a “realistic figure based on the current situation with the construction industry.” He admitted that it was a “significant amount of money”.

“A developer may have got planning permission for 100 houses but now he may only build 10. As a result we have had to review all developments like this and readjust the figures.

“In some cases a developer could be just building 10 houses, but in another case they might be building 25% of the houses they got permission for,” he said.

Mr Murphy said the council may be able to recoup the balance of the levies from these developers, if they start building again.

At last week’s meeting of Laois County Council, the county manager said the development levies had “dried up.”

“They are down from E12 or E13million to E1 or E2million a year now,” he said.

Figures published in January revealed that county hall had a balance of E32m in development levies.