DENIED: Lockyer Valley Regional Council denied a request for reduced development charges, nearly a decade after a developer made the request. Picture: Contributed
DENIED: Lockyer Valley Regional Council denied a request for reduced development charges, nearly a decade after a developer made the request. Picture: Contributed

Why it took council nearly a decade to make this decision

A DEVELOPER’S request for a discount on infrastructure rates has been given a resounding no from a local council, nearly a decade after they first asked.

In a strange decision yesterday, Lockyer Valley Regional Council voted to approve some changes to a development application for units in Gatton that was originally given the green light in 2012.

But the developer’s assertion they should pay reduced fees due to the time the council took to first approve the application didn’t fly.

The developer in February 2012 was given approval to build 40 units at 120 Cochrane St, Gatton.

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The developer then requested changes be made to the approvals in April of that year.

The delay between the request for the negotiated decision and the council finally approving some amendments was due to the developer not responding to council queries.

A report to councillors noted a council officer investigated some of the requests and made further inquiries with the developer in October 2012.

“There is no record of a response from the applicant to council’s request,” the report said.

“As such, the matter has been held in abeyance since this time.”

The block at 120 Cochrane St, Gatton, the location of a proposed 40-unit development.
The block at 120 Cochrane St, Gatton, the location of a proposed 40-unit development.

The report submitted to the council said the decision to bring the changes to councillors for a vote was to finalise the outstanding request.

The biggest point of disagreement between the developer and the council surrounded the infrastructure charges payable to the council.

The developer asserted the council had taken too long to approve the original plan and when the approval finally came, a new charges scheme had been implemented.

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“(The) timeline of events confirms council had three decision-making periods to decide this application, the last of which expired on 28 April, 2011, two months before council adopted the Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolution on 29 June, 2011,” the developer said.

“Given the timeline of events provided above, it is not considered reasonable of council to impose current infrastructure contribution rates on this development.”

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However the councillors disagreed, noting there were several errors in the dates on which the developer had made their case.

The council officer also noted the developer had agreed to a number of extensions to the decision period, due to the developer not adequately addressing stormwater and flooding issues.

Other minor changes the developer requested were approved.

The negotiated decision was approved unanimously by the councillors.