New legal notices to introduce fines for illegal development
Legal notices which will introduce new daily fines for illegal development are to be published by Mepa today and they will become effective on November 24.
Addressing a media briefing this morning, CEO Ian Stafrace the notices will provide the authority with more tools for better enforcement.
Although the new fines will only apply to illegalities committed after November 24, any illegality after this date on an old site would also be subject to a fine. The fines are incremental but capped at a maximum of €50,000.
Mr Stafrace said the idea was to create a deterrent. The authority would rather people complied to the law than break it and face the fines.
He said that the authority will also be issuing a warning notice for any illegality committed between now and November 24 in a bid to create more awareness.
When the enforcement notice is issued, the daily fine would be specified and this would kick in within 16 days.
When one applied to sanction an illegality, the fine would continue and if the application is approved the applicant would have to pay either the sanctioning fee or the fine, whichever is the higher.
Mr Stafrace noted that the daily fine did not preclude direct action.
He also spoke about the possibility, in future, to link the Land Registry with Mepa so that banks and notaries would find out, during their research, if a property had a particularly grave enforcement order on it.