Kildare Innovation Campus contests council’s €9.4m planning levy |

Kildare Innovation Campus contests council’s €9.4m planning levy |

As part of the planning green light for the scheme last month, the council inserted a condition in the planning permission that applicants, Davy Real Estate entity Davy Platform ICAV on behalf of the Liffey Sub Fund, pay €9.47m in contributions towards public infrastructure.

However, the applicants have now lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the council demand.

Currently, firms, including HP Enterprise and DB Schenker, based at Kildare Innovation Campus near the M4 at Parsonstown, Leixlip, employ 1,000 people and the new planned extension granted planning permission by the council will deliver a capacity for a further 3,000 jobs.

In the appeal, consultants for the applicants, Tom Phillips + Associates, have told the appeals board that the planning contribution should instead be €5.24m – €4.2m less than the council is demanding.

Associate at Tom Phillips + Associates Brian Minogue has stated in the appeal that the planning contribution should be reduced to €5.24m “to take account of the already levied floor space relating to existing buildings, 7, 8 and 9, which are to be demolished as part of the redevelopment project.”

Mr Minogue states that the Kildare County Council development contribution has failed to take account of previous levies paid and therefore results in ‘double-charging’, clearly contravening Development Contributions Guidelines.

Mr Minogue argues that “it is clearly inequitable to double-charge where there is no net increase in floor area”.

He claims the council has erred in calculating the correct development contributions and “this has resulted in a significantly inflated rate of €9.47m”.

Mr Minogue states that the financial contribution in relation to the innovation campus “should only be charged on the net increase in gross floor area”.

He says the applicant is fully disposed to making a contribution towards works that will facilitate development in the area of the subject site but points out that the “floor area which has already been subject to development contributions through parent permissions should be discounted”.

In a third party appeal lodged against the council planning permission, Killross Properties Ltd claimed that the council did not consult with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, stating that “this is extraordinary in light of the nature and scale of the project and its location so proximate to the Rye Water Valley/Carton Special Area of Conservation (SAC)”.

In response to the Killross Properties Ltd appeal, the council has said the proposed development “is strongly supported by the land use zoning objective of the area” and has asked the appeals board to uphold the planning permission.

An economic assessment prepared by Grant Thornton for applicants has estimated that the total economic output from the expanded Kildare Innovation Campus will be €5bn.

The plans for the former HP campus includes the construction of two new ‘deep tech’ buildings, four new data centre buildings and an energy centre to provide dispatchable power to the national electrical grid as part of a three phased expansion of the campus from 2024 to 2035.