Council adopts its first residential development contributions plan at Huntly

Greater Bendigo City Council last night adopted the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme Amendment C222 to introduce a Huntly Development Contributions Plan (DCP) overlay, the first of its kind in the municipality.

The Huntly DCP has been prepared to provide timely delivery of essential infrastructure such as roads, intersections, paths and a play space to support new growth areas north of the existing township on the eastern side of the Midland Highway. The area includes over 500 properties, covering a total of 247 hectares of land.

A DCP introduces developer levies in growing suburbs and it is widely used in other regional cities and metropolitan growth areas. As land is subdivided, the developer/property owner pays a levy to Council and all funds collected are put towards the development of essential infrastructure. In some cases, the developer/property owner can deliver infrastructure projects as works-in-kind rather than make a financial contribution.

City Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said Huntly was a fast-growing area so it was important that developers contributed to shared infrastructure for the benefit of the community.

“DCPs are widely used across outer Melbourne’s growth areas and other regional areas including Ballarat, Shepparton and Geelong and this will be the first residential DCP for our municipality and the template for future growth areas in our region,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“Huntly is growing and we want it to remain a comfortable, attractive and safe place for residents to live for years to come by ensuring that essential infrastructure, such as main roads, footpaths, drainage, is well planned, funded and delivered.

“Raising funds through a DCP is the fairest way to ensure those who most use and benefit from the infrastructure are paying for it.

“The DCP levies only apply if you are developing land and only those property owners who choose to subdivide their property in the future in a DCP overlay area would have to contribute developer levies. If a property remains as is or the owner chooses to sell without subdividing, they would not have to contribute to the DCP.

“Viewpoint Estate falls within the proposed DCP area, however, at the time of its subdivision the developer contributed to the construction of essential infrastructure so the properties there will not be affected by the proposed DCP levy and will not have to pay anything.”

The Huntly growth area is proposed to accommodate 2,300 homes and the delivery of infrastructure is estimated at approximately $23.7M in today’s dollar terms. The DCP will not cover all the costs related to delivering the essential infrastructure and the City will still be required to contribute to proposed works where appropriate.

The Amendment will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for approval.

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