Freed developer contribution funds delivered 43 projects across the Coast

Shared pathway hugging the shoreline of Tuggerawong

In the 2020-21 financial year just finished, Central Coast Council contributed $3.7M of developer contribution funding towards the planning and delivery of 43 projects across the Coast, after the NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, increased flexibility on the funds’ usages in June last year.

Projects that benefitted included: the shared pathway construction along Tuggerawong foreshore (stage 2) and Racecourse Rd in Gosford (stage 1); drainage upgrades, including Louisiana Rd, Kanwal; as well as various upgrades to reserve across the Coast.

Stokes issued an Environmental Planning and Assessment Direction in June 2020 relating to local infrastructure contributions, a type of restricted funds.

Councils had six weeks to provide the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment with a works program detailing how they intended to draw down on local infrastructure contribution balances and deliver local infrastructure over the next four years.

Council has now confirmed the above mentioned projects benefitted and said that Council has recently adopted a Central Coast Section 7.12 Contribution Plan and is preparing a comprehensive Central Coast Local Infrastructure Section 7.11 Contribution Plan.

“The planned expenditure in the work program will be delivered as shown in the Operational Plan for the 2021-22 financial year but may change for future years due to the adoption and implementation of the Central Coast Local Infrastructure Section 7.11 Contributions Plan,” Council said.

Stokes announced the legislative changes in 2020 to provide councils with more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stokes said the extra flexibility would let councils quickly invest in public spaces, roads, footpaths, drainage, and it would unlock billions across the state.

The changes permitted councils to pool funds across contribution plans, allowing them to bring forward planned projects where all the funds may not yet have been received.

Developer contributions, also known as local infrastructure contributions, are charged by Council when new development occurs.

This type of local infrastructure typically includes local roads, stormwater and drainage, shared pathways, parks, playspaces or other recreational areas, environmental land and community facilities.

The NSW Government sets the legislation and policy framework for how Council collects and administers contributions.

There are two forms of local infrastructure contributions: Section 7.11 contributions and Section 7.12 contributions.

To charge contributions under a Section 7.11 contributions, the plan must identify a clear relationship between the expected development and the demonstrated need for the public infrastructure, while the Section 7.12 contributions plan is not required to identify this relationship, as the contributions are calculated as a flat rate percentage of the cost of the development.

If the development is between $100,001 – $200,000, a 0.5 percent levy is charged, if the development is over $200,000, a levy of one percent is charged.

Section 7.12 contributions are not charged where Section 7.11 contributions apply.

Merilyn Vale

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