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Minister Murphy announces commencement of the multi-annual developer provided water services infrastructure (DPI) resolution programme 2019-2021

Published on Tuesday, 23 Jul 2019
Minister Eoghan Murphy

Minister Murphy announces commencement of the multi-annual developer provided water services infrastructure (DPI) resolution programme 2019-2021.

Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today, 23 July 2019, announced a new investment programme to support the progressive resolution, on a priority basis, of legacy DPI in housing estates.

The National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) Report published in December 2018 is the culmination of the Department’s pilot funding initiative for this area launched in April 2016.

The publication of the NTICI report is of value to local authorities and other stakeholders in applying the lessons from the seven pilot authorities, in a more general roll-out of a streamlined approach to taking-in-charge, including through coordination with capital works by Irish Water.

Further to the publication of the NTICI Report and in line with its recommendations relating to DPI, the Minister is now announcing the launch of a Multi-Annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme for the period 2019-2021 to progressively resolve, on a priority basis, the DPI estates in a sustainable way.

Announcing the new multi-annual developer provided water services infrastructure resolution programme, Minister Murphy said:

“It is important that every effort is made to ensure that the backlog of estates, including those with developer provided water services infrastructure, not yet taken in charge be progressed and resolved through a continuous active taking in charge programme.

Taking in charge gives householders in these estates confidence that the public services for their homes will be properly managed and maintained into the future. The new multi-annual developer provided water services infrastructure resolution programme that I am announcing today significantly contributes to this.”

Capital funding of €6 million has been provided in 2019, increasing to €10 million in 2020.  A total of €31 million has been committed under the National Development Plan, published last year, to 2021.

To commence the multi-annual programme local authorities are now being invited to bid for project funding for the sustainable resolution of the DPI operating in these residential estates.

 

Additional Notes 

Overview

The taking in charge of residential estates by local authorities is provided for under Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, and procedures for this are initiated under Section 11 of the Roads Act, 1993. The taking in charge of residential estates is a reserved function of the elected members.

National Taking in Charge Initiative Report

In December 2018 the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government published the National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) Report. The report is available at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/nation...

The NTICI report indicates that, based on local authorities reporting to the Department in August 2018, there were nationally:

  • 4,854 residential estates that were not taken in charge - a 14% reduction on the position at the end of 2015.
  • 834 residential estates subset with DPI (some 17% of the overall number of estates not taken in charge) - a 9% reduction on the position at the end of 2015.

The report included guidance on establishing a co-ordinated taking-in-charge programme to progressively address in a sustainable way the issue of taking in charge housing estates that include Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure (DPI) i.e. privately owned water or wastewater treatment plants.

The report guidance is based on the valuable knowledge and experience gained through the National Taking in Charge Initiative (NTICI) process and associated pilot or demonstration projects carried out in 2016/2017.

A key recommendation relating to DPI is the establishment of a multi-annual funding programme to progressively resolve DPI.

Commencement of the Multi-Annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme

Local authorities are now being invited to bid for funding for the first cycle of the programme to be called the Multi-Annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021 to progressively resolve, on a priority basis, legacy DPI in housing estates.

Capital funding of €6 million has been provided in 2019, increasing to €10 million in 2020.  A total of €31 million has been committed under the National Development Plan, published last year, to 2021.

Policy context of the new multi-annual funding programme for the progressive resolution of legacy Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure estates

The Government’s vision for water services – whether publically provided by Irish Water and their local authority partners or otherwise delivered – is that they are delivered and developed in line with the needs and expectations of users, in compliance with legal obligations, in a fair and equitable way, in a cost-effective manner, and in keeping with the principles of social, economic and environmental sustainability.

In May 2018 the Government published the first Water Services Policy Statement 2018-2025 prepared as required under the Water Services Act 2017. The statement, among other things, is reflective of a new era of governance, oversight and accountability for the delivery of water services. The Statement identifies high level objectives and priorities for the delivery of water services over the period to 2025. It has been prepared in line with the Water Services Acts to give clear direction to strategic planning and decision making on water services in Ireland.

The statement is available at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-services/drinking-water/water-ser...

Next Steps

The multi-annual programme is being initiated through the invitation of project funding bids from local authorities followed by their evaluation.

An Expert Panel will be set up by the Department to support the bids evaluation process. In addition to providing an expert perspective, the Panel brings independence, openness and transparency to the bids evaluation process which will be done on a national prioritised basis. The Expert Panel’s membership will include Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation.

The Panel will make recommendations to the Department on the suitability of projects for funding based on objective criteria which are set out in the Framework attached to the Circular to be issued to local authorities requesting proposals.

The Department will then consider the recommendations of the Panel, and based on these, will propose allocations for consideration and approval by the Minister. The Department will then notify local authorities of the details of the projects being funded for the three-year cycle of the multi-annual programme.

The process of seeking bids on a multi-annual funding approach and their subsequent evaluation by a Panel follows a similar approach to that used for the Departments Multi-annual Rural Water Programme launched in 2016.

This process is to be carried out in the third and fourth quarter of 2019.

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