Originally published in The Newcastle Herald, 13 December 2019.
The property industry has criticised City of Newcastle’s push to more than double developer contributions in the city’s western corridor.
Councillors voted on Tuesday to place on public exhibition a contributions plan for housing developments at Minmi and Fletcher which would raise the contributions from $13,646.75 to $30,274.30 per block.
The council also voted to ask the Planning Minister to increase a $20,000 cap on contributions to $30,000. The government introduced the cap in 2012 to stimulate development and improve housing affordability.
The contributions would pay for $92 million in road and community infrastructure projects to support the addition of 3132 homes in the western corridor.
The new policy would replace a 2014 contributions plan which identified $37.95 million in required infrastructure spending for the same number of dwellings.
The chairman of the Hunter chapter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Geoff Rock, said the council’s move to more than double the contributions was a “surprise” in light of the 2014 plan.
“The fact it could more than double overnight is a concern,” he said.