Longford County Council is charging farmers building sheds on their land for expansion purposes approximately €6,000 per 1,000sqm. The revelations emerged last week after Irish Independent Farming conducted an investigation into the matter when farmers in the Carlow area discovered that they were being charged €7,570 in development contributions for 1,000sqm sheds. Kildare County Council has been charging farmers €38,000 per 1,000sqm “for any agricultural development” while Louth local authority is currently charging €40,150 for livestock sheds. €64,000 per 1,000sqm is being taken in development contributions from farmers investing in “general purpose sheds” from Tipperary North County Council, while €13,510sqm is being slapped on farmers in the Waterford area wishing to expand their enterprises.
Independent Farming stated, “A 1,000sqm livestock shed would comprise a typical six-bay shed with a lie-back capable of accommodating approximately 200 cattle”. “If a farmer is proposing to build a shed for what local authorities consider an ‘intensive animal enterprise’ such as poultry or pigs, the charges can be even tighter,” the agricultural publication warned. “Kildare and Louth make no allowance for whether the shed is to be issued for an intensive livestock enterprise or not, the report went on to say. “Only two councils – Waterford and Kildare – are prepared to waive the huge charges in cases where buildings are required to comply with EU Directives. The disparity between local authorities on the amounts being levied on new developments is also set to become a bone of contention.”
Laois County Council is currently charging €3,000sqm shed, while Sligo local authority charges amount to €5,000 and €5,000 in Wexford.
IfA’s Pat Farrell said that increased charges at local authorities across the country were as a direct result of “cash strapped councils looking for money”. “IFA will mount a campaign to tackle this issue,” he stated.
Depite numerous efforts to access information from Longford County Council in respect of its charges, none was forthcoming at the time of going to print.