Minister of State for Housing and Planning Jan O'Sullivan has written to all local authorities to ascertain what approach they are taking to the collection of unpaid development fees.

Her actions follow weekend revelations that Wicklow County Council is pursuing individual home owners on the Brook Meadow estate in Avoca for unpaid fees.

The company that developed the estate and obtained the original planning permissions is no longer in business, but the developer is also being pursued for the money in court.

Ms O'Sullivan told the Dáil the reason for the development contributions is to ensure that at the planning permission stage a developer makes contributions to provide for infrastructure.

She said the intention is not that individual householders pay and the developer concerned should pay.

In relation to Brook Meadow, she said Wicklow Co Council may be able to use a €60,000 bond lodged for the development to offset unpaid fees.

Her comments were made during a topical issue debate last night during which Opposition TDs outlined their fear that homeowners in other counties would be targeted by local authorities for unpaid development fees.