Áras an Chontae, Mullingar.

Planning fees income to top €500,000

Income from planning fees is likely to hit €500,000 in Westmeath in 2023, according to Jimmy Dalton, head of finance with Westmeath County Council.

Addressing the annual estimates meeting of the council, he said that the council had had a number of “significant applications” in 2022. The maximum fee charged is €38,000, but that can be exceeded in respect of some housing estate developments.

There were 539 planning applications lodged with the council in 2022, 11% fewer than the previous year, but there was a notable increase in the complex nature and scale of the applications.

It is projected, based on the pre-planning consultations carried out in recent months, that the total number of planning applications will reach 650 by the end of the year.

Demand for pre-planning meetings remained high throughout the year with 225 completed to date and the figure is expected to reach 270 by the year’s end.