Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that the pending review of the Council’s development contribution scheme provides a useful opportunity to introduce measures to make investment in eco-friendly methods and specifications more attractive to developers and self-builders alike. He made the comments at the February meeting of Waterford City and County Council, where management proposed the scheme would be reviewed in tandem with the drafting of the new city and county development plan.
“Its important that we review this scheme alongside the new Development Plan. Last month the Council provided a clear direction to the Chief Executive that the new plan should contain a very strong commitment to climate action. This direction included a focus on energy efficiency and micro-generation of clean electricity.
“I would like to see greater incentives for self-builders and for developers to future-proof new homes with high-spec energy efficiency features, and technology to support micro-generation of electricity.
“I believe the next Development Contribution Scheme gives us a chance to introduce incentives to make investment in eco-friendly methods and specs more attractive from a financial point of view. I can’t see why the Council wouldn’t be prepared to offer modest reductions in development charges for homes that include the highest level of energy efficiency, or that are set up to generate clean electricity.
“Such a policy would need to be complemented by national government funding to allow existing homeowners to invest in retrofitting energy efficiency measures, and support for local authorities to bring council housing stock up to spec.”