Landowners and developers should be aware of a new statutory charge on land set to be introduced as part of the Land Value Sharing (LVS) element of the government’s Housing for All programme.
The General Scheme of the Land Value Sharing and Urban Development Bill 2022 sets out the basis for the LVS obligation which will be calculated based on the uplift in land value as a result of the State’s decision to zone or designate land for development. The proceeds from the charge will be ring fenced and invested in the necessary infrastructure, facilities and services specific to the area where the grant of planning permission has been secured.
State to secure 30% of the uplift in value
The charge will be calculated based on the uplift between the Existing Use Value (EUV) of the land at the point of zoning and the Market Value (MV) of the land with the benefit of zoning. There is scope in the current drafting for the rate to range between 20%-30% of the difference between the EUV and MV.
It is proposed that the charge will be a condition of the Grant of Planning Permission and will be in addition to the already imposed Section 48 development contributions. The charges will differ in that Section 48 development contributions are linked to the quantum allowed under the planning permission while the LVS charge will not take into account any additional increase in value brought by the secured zoning decision.
Initially, the LVS will apply to all lands that are zoned residential or mixed use including residential and no distinction will be made between newly zoned land and land which is already zoned. Planning authorities will publish maps noting all land which will come within the scope of LVS in March 2024 and owners of the lands are required to submit self-assessment of the EUV and MV calculations otherwise the planning authority may enter them on the register.
The landowner can discharge the obligation at any time whereby it acts as a credit against the land otherwise it must be discharged in advance of commencement of the development unless agreed with the planning authority. In the alternative the authority may accept land or an undertaking of works to offset the obligation.
Permissions for social and / or affordable housing development and development by or behalf of local authorities will be exempt from the LVS obligation.
Other exclusions from the LVS contribution include where the application is for:
- conversion of an existing building or reconstruction of a building to create one or more dwellings, provided that 50% or more of the existing building is retained
- infrastructure, facilities or enabling works
- 4 or less houses
- housing on land which is 0.1 hectares or less
- commercial or industrial development where the net additional floor space is 500 sqm or less
- Where there is an LVS credit lodged on the land value register
The LVS charge is due to come into effect for planning applications lodged from December 2024. There is also to be a lead in time of 1 year for lands which transacted prior to 21 December 2021 with applications lodged regarding the lands after December 2025 liable. Commercial and industrial zoning will likely be brought under the LVS measure from March 2026 and applications lodged from December 2026 will be subject to the LVS obligation.
Reduction in land speculation
Commentary from the State notes that it is hoped that the LVS measure will stop land speculation by controlling the increase in land values and exerting a downward pressure on the price of residential land, ultimately benefiting the developer while increasing housing supply. It is also hoped by imposing the LVS contribution early in the planning process that it will be borne by the initial landowner and or subsequent purchaser of the land and not absorbed into the cost of building and effecting house prices. This remains to be seen and on the face of it, it is difficult to see why a landowner would pay the charge upfront while the option is there to leave it as an outstanding liability on the register. The reality of the situation is that it is likely the LVC charge will remain outstanding until discharged by the developer on the commencement of the development and will ultimately become a cost effecting the house prices. In the short-term Landowners are encouraged to bring their lands forward for development to avoid the fast approaching LVS obligation.
How we can help
If you have any queries or concerns, or would like to discuss the above in further detail, please feel free to contact Siobhán Whelan in our Real Estate Department (email@example.com / +353 (0)1 440 8339).
This article is for general information purposes. Legal advice must be obtained for individual circumstances. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, no liability is accepted by the author for any inaccuracies.