BATHURST Regional Council has maintained its position not to waive developer contributions when they have been fairly applied.
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The issue was raised at the June 15 council meeting, when councillors were asked to make a determination on a request to waive the contributions required after development consent was granted for a dwelling at 708 Tarana Road, Brewongle, in October, 2020.
Condition seven of the consent required the payment of developer contributions for community facilities and rural roads, amounting to $12,176.90 at the time of the consent.
The amount has since gone up to $12,359.60 after consumer price index (CPI) increases on July 1 of each year thereafter.
According to a report to the meeting, the condition was legitimately and legally applied under council's Developer Contributions Plans to offset the increase in demand for public services created by the dwelling.
The property owners, Paul and Bonny Hennessy, tried to sway councillors with an address in public forum, which at times got heated as Mr Hennessy detailed the ongoing fight with council over the development.
Council's general manager, David Sherley, labelled some of his comments as inappropriate to be raised in a public forum.
Despite the efforts of the Hennessys, councillors adopted the recommendation not to waive or reduce the developer contributions.
During discussion of the agenda item, they highlighted the fact that this has always been council's stance, regardless of who the developer is.
In recent history, charitable organisations like Glenray and HousingPlus have had their requests denied, as has Scots All Saints College.
"We have essentially, I think, established a fairly time honoured tradition of not acquiescing to those requests, although I've got to say in this case I do have a lot of sympathy for the applicants," councillor Jess Jennings said.
Cr Ian North was of a similar view.
"This is a tough one. Councils have got to make a decision," he said.
"The core of what we do is we need to raise money from DAs and that to go forward, for other applications and the processes we do."
The report noted that waiving or reducing the contributions would constitute a grant to the property owner without any public purpose.
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