Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
122. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the breakdown of funding under the multi-annual funding programme to proceed with the taking-in-charge of estates to every country in each of the past five years; the funding that has been provided to Tipperary County Council for the taking-in-charge of estates over the past five years; the number of bids from each country that have been refused funding over the past five years; the number of estates with applications to be taken-in-charge by Tipperary County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26831/21]
In 2016 my Department sought to trial new approaches and working methods in supporting and accelerating overall national and local action on the process of taking in charge residential estates including those with developer provided water services infrastructure. This was done through a pilot initiative called the National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI).
Following the NTICI process my Department published in December 2018 a report – the National Taking in Charge Initiative Report. The report sets outs details of the bids arrangements and funding made to local authorities under the pilot initiative. The report included findings and recommendations which led to the introduction of the multi-annual funding programme, now in place, for the progressive resolution of housing estates with developer provided water services infrastructure.
The report is available on my Department's website at the following link:
Under the NTICI process Tipperary County Council were recouped €278,616 for the resolution of three estates with developer provided water services infrastructure (see Table 2 of NTICI report).
On 21 September 2020, I announced allocations under the new multi-annual capital investment programme - the Multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021 - for the progressive resolution of housing estates with developer provided water services infrastructure, to enable the taking in charge of these estates. This, the first funding cycle of a new multi-annual programme, runs to the end of 2021.
The focus of the first multi-annual programme is on estates in towns and villages where the resolution is to connect their water services to the public networks. The programme will also support a number of pilot projects where connection is not feasible in the immediate future. These pilot projects, together with a major study currently being undertaken by Irish Water, will inform future policy considerations on resolving sub-standard developer provided infrastructure with sustainable solutions.
All local authorities that submitted bids were informed about the outcome of their bids in a circular which included a copy of an independent Expert Panel report on the bids process. The report provides the commentary of the Panel on their evaluation in the case of unsuccessful bids and guidance for the local authority in making future bids in upcoming programmes.
The circular is available on my Department's website at the following link:
None of the bids from Tipperary County Council examined under the first announcement were successful (see table at Appendix C of the report) for funding for resolution of their developer provided infrastructure. However, under the approvals circular local authorities were asked to examine further estates that required funding for resolution. Arising from this process, valid bids for four estates were received from Tipperary County Council and they are currently being examined by the Expert Panel.
I have no specific function in relation to the matter raised and the information requested is not available in my Department.
Local authorities are independent in the execution of their powers and the directly elected members are democratically accountable for all expenditure of the authority. The day to day running of each local authority is a matter for its Chief Executive while budgetary decisions are made by the Elected Members.