Developer seeks 44% reduction in infrastructure charges

Area of possible residential development in Redland Bay Road Capalaba

Area of possible residential development in Redland Bay Road Capalaba

At its General Meeting on 10 December the Redland City Council will be considering a request by property developer Villa World Developments Pty Ltd to approve a 44% reduction in infrastructure charges.

Villa World Pty Ltd is considering a 134 lot subdivision on land at 401-451 Redland Bay road, Capalaba.

The reductions sought by Villa World would reduce its contribution to the cost of “trunk infrastructure” by more than $1.6 million (44%), from $3,724,000 to $2,058,547. Trunk infrastructure is external to the area of the development. Non-trunk infrastructure is the responsibility of the developer.

In accordance with state planning laws, the charges that Council can impose for provision of trunk infrastructure are now capped at $28,000 per block. Trunk infrastructure costs are normally much more than this and the excess over $28,000 per block is now paid for by ratepayers.

The site has had an interesting history. Part of the land used to be used for poultry farming. Indeed a report to Council dated 26 April 2005 noted that parts of the site were included in the State’s Contaminated Land Register due to “previous land uses including dead bird disposal”.

When development was originally proposed on this site in 2005, Council officers recommended against the proposal on grounds that:

  • It did not comply with the Council’s planning requirements in force at the time
  • The site was regarded a as major koala breeding and dispersal area so any development would conflict with state planning policies

Back in 2005 the officer’s report noted koala populations were significantly affected by development. An example was cited of another area in Capalaba (Ney Road/Koala Place) where koala populations reduced from 70 in 1995 to 15 in 2004.

Although the officer’s report recommended that development not be approved, this was overturned. The 2005 Council voted 6 to 5 in favour of allowing the site to be used for residential development. Councillors who voted to allow this koala-unfriendly development included two current councillors: Karen Williams and Alan Beard.

Time moves on and so do planning schemes. And the number of koalas in Redland City continues to fall. But developers still want to develop, and they work hard to improve their margins and returns.

Villa World’s argument for a $1.6 million reduction in trunk infrastructure charges is made for three specific categories of infrastructure: parks, stormwater and sewers.

In each case it appears that the officer’s report to the Council Meeting on Wednesday 10 December is suggesting that Council should just accept the “reasonable” arguments put forward by the developer.

There is no evidence that Redland City Council has any willingness or capacity to enter into hard nosed commercial negotiations with developers to improve the City’s finances and reduce the burden on ratepayers.

Redlands2030, 9 December 2014

 Update 11 December

At the Council meeting the councillors voted to reject the officer’s recommendation. For more information refer to:

Council backflips on Villa World discount deal

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6 thoughts on “Developer seeks 44% reduction in infrastructure charges

  1. The Developers should be paying the FULL amount . Ratepayers are being ripped off enough!!!! Poor Koalas 🙁 don’t stand a chance.

  2. Negotiation is part of doing business. If Council cannot negotiate they should just set non-negotiable prices for infrastructure.

  3. Why is this pro-development Council determined to allow development in a wild-life area again and have us, the ratepayers, pay more for the infrastructure charges, by discounting the developers’ costs? The Council is elected to have the best interests of the voters as their core business, not that of the developers! Forget the discount. Developers make the profits, let them bear the FULL costs. Bring on the elections!

  4. Roll on the state and local elections to get rid of the bad rubbish running our country, the two councillors mentioned need to go for a start.

  5. Why oh why are the Council still developing our Redlands – the area that we don’t want developed? Is it to get growth and therefore money into the Redlands??? Then why oh why are they considering waving such huge amounts of money off the development costs? I can’t believe that our beloved area is being raped and pillaged and changed forever…. and at a reduced cost to the developers. Have some brains to listen to the people of the Redlands, and stop developing the area that we’ve chosen to live in because of it’s natural beauty. We don’t want development… and how dare you try to pass it on as a great idea when it’s been handled under the table, so to speak, by waving such large amounts of money.

    • That’s a lousy discount compared to Shoreline in southern Redland Bay where developers got 96% discount only paying 175K instead of $4.4M

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