Council loses over $2.7M in DA fees so far

Central Coast CouncillorsSuspended Central Coast Councillors.

The State Government has picked up $2.7M so far this financial year from development application fees that Central Coast Council would have received in the past.

The fees were for State Significant projects that are now being decided upon by planning panels put in place by the State Government.

At this week’s Council meeting (May 25) Deputy Mayor Cr Jane Smith asked if the $2.7 was in total for the year but was told it was only year to date.

“So that figure could increase by the end of financial year,” Cr Smith said.

She asked council to provide a written report on how councillors will be able to represent the community interest in planning matters.

This comes after the councillors lost all control of decision making for Development Applications when they had to constitute a Local Planning Panel on April 27, as directed by the State Department of Planning.

Small applications that don’t go to the panel will be decided by council staff through delegated authority.

Larger planning decisions were already taken out of council’s hands through a regional planning panel and an Independent Planning Commission and by the Minister himself.

Cr Smith asked that councillors also be kept informed on all development applications that are subject to community advertising.

The council adopted their third quarter report into the Activities of the Development Assessment & Environment and Certification Units and asked for the written report on new procedures for councillors to come by July.

The activities report showed that during the January to March 2020 quarter, 635 development applications were determined including the approval of 415 new dwellings (including secondary dwellings, detached dwellings, dual-occupancies, senior living, multi-dwelling housing and units within residential flat buildings).

The total number of Development Applications outstanding at the end of the quarter was 574 with 471 applications under assessment.

Agenda Items 2.2 and 3.3
Central Coast Council meeting, May 25.

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