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Latest development news
Council cuts fees to encourage more homes
Richmond Valley Council recently endorsed a proposal to waive Section 64 charges and fixed water and sewer rating availability charges for secondary dwellings subject to the following conditions:
- Waivers are restricted to secondary dwellings, having a floor area (excluding car parking) not exceeding 25% of primary dwelling;
- the secondary dwelling will not increase the total number of bedrooms on the land, inclusive of the principal dwelling, to greater than five; and
- the secondary dwelling is not to be let for temporary accommodation, such as holiday letting.
At its June meeting, Council confirmed the application of a Section 64 charge and the fixed water and sewer availability charges would be applied if the second dwelling is retrospectively converted to a dual occupancy, or three or more flats, or if its floor area increases to more than 25% of primary dwelling.
Council has also been approached by community members expressing permission for detached residential dual occupancy developments on rural zoned land within the local government area. Currently this type of development is prohibited under Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP 2012).
At its December meeting, Council endorsed staff to start the process of amending the LEP to permit detached dual occupancies in the rural zone. It is hoped NSW Government approval will be granted for this amendment before the end of the year.
In further development news, Council adopted a revised development assessment process which focuses on finding solutions for development challenges within the Richmond Valley. The key change is the expanded use of pre-lodgement meetings which will now be provided free of charge to assist prospective developers. The aims of these meetings include:
- define what developers would like their development to achieve;
- establish the challenges and opportunities for the land involved; and
- allow Council staff to propose potential solution options for consideration of the developer and their team.
This process should allow more comprehensive applications being submitted, which will simplify assessment and reduce the need to “Stop the Clock” to seek further information.