Coun­cil tweaks de­vel­op­ment pol­icy

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By STEVE ED­WARDS

No ‘‘fun­da­men­tal changes’’ have been made to Mata­mata- Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions pol­icy, which has faced two high pro­file re­cent chal­lenges.

De­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions are le­vies for coun­cil-funded in­fra­struc­ture re­quired as a re­sult of growth in de­vel­op­ment and new homes.

The coun­cil re­cently ap­proved a draft pol­icy to go to Au­dit New Zealand along­side its draft Long Term Plan (LTP).

Se­nior com­mu­ni­ca­tions

of­fi­cer Jenni Cochrane said the pol­icy has been re­viewed to en­sure it aligns with the lat­est growth projects and the draft LTP.

The re­vised draft pol­icy in­cludes no fun­da­men­tal changes, she said. ‘‘We are propos­ing to con­tinue charg­ing de­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions so de­vel­op­ers pay their share of the in­fra­struc­ture costs caused by their de­vel­op­ments.’’

How­ever, the coun­cil is propos­ing charg­ing for road­ing con­tri­bu­tions on a ward ba­sis in­stead of across the whole dis­trict.

It is also look­ing at adding a ‘‘ spe­cial as­sess­ment process’’ which al­lows the coun­cil to con­sider an ef­fects-based ap­proach to as­sess­ing dis­trict con­tri­bu­tions where a de­vel­op­ment clearly does not fall within cat­e­gories es­tab­lished.

‘‘We have recog­nised in­ten­sive farm­ing, ware­houses and cool­stores as de­vel­op­ments that may be el­i­gi­ble for this process,’’ said Cochrane.

‘‘We be­lieve that the changes be­ing pro­posed to the pol­icy will help make the process clearer and eas­ier for de­vel­op­ers and ad­dress some of the is­sues we have had with a very small num­ber of de­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions, while still en­sur­ing de­vel­op­ers are pay­ing for their share of growth.’’

The coun­cil can­vassed the com­mu­nity on the mat­ter, re­ceiv­ing more than 800 sub­mis­sions.

Feed­back showed a ‘‘very strong pref­er­ence’’ for de­vel­op­ers pay­ing the cost of growth,’’ coun­cil said.

‘‘Very few sub­mit­ters sup­ported ratepay­ers pay­ing the cost of growth or shar­ing the costs.’’

This year the coun­cil over­turned an as­sess­ment which saw an El­stow farmer build­ing two chicken sheds on a 2 kilo­me­tre road with three houses face a $50,000 road­ing de­vel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tion.

Bernie McDavitt, out­lay­ing about $2 mil­lion on free range poul­try broiler sheds at his Cloth­ier Rd prop­erty, spent more than $2000 on a con­sul­tant’s re­port which ul­ti­mately saw the coun­cil ac­count re­duced from $49,346.03 to $1694.50.

The re­port said the ‘‘large dis­crep­ancy’’ came from coun­cil cal­cu­la­tions which cor­re­sponded with the two new sheds alone gen­er­at­ing 17 times more traf­fic than the whole op­er­a­tion.

Also this year, chicken pro­ces­sor Ing­hams En­ter­prises ob­jected to a $5400 road­ing con­tri­bu­tion.

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