Why is Council preparing this Amendment?
This Amendment is required to provide a mechanism to expend unspent funds remaining following the completion of the collection period of the Darebin DCP 2004.
At the end of the DCP in June 2014, Council had collected more contributions than had been forecast as a combined result of:
- higher than expected rates of development and therefore higher rates of DCP revenue than forecast; and
- non-completion of some of the identified DCP projects.
The Amendment is consistent with Section 46Q(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which outlines Council's obligations in circumstances where a DCP ends with surplus and/or unspent funds. Specifically, Section 46Q(4)(d) allows Council to prepare an amendment to provide for the expenditure of any unspent or surplus funds. This Amendment will facilitate the expenditure of the surplus funds collected under the DCP by identifying an additional infrastructure item for use of these funds, in a manner that maximises community benefit.
What is Council proposing through this Amendment (C148)?
Through this Amendment, Council is proposing to use the 'unspent' funds as a contribution towards a Multi-Use Indoor/Outdoor Sports Stadium, to meet an identified community need and to provide municipal wide benefits to increase participation rates in sport and physical activity.
In order to do this, Council needs to undertake a Planning Scheme Amendment and to provide sound justification as to why this is a suitable replacement project for these funds. Council has undertaken a number of background studies that identify the need for such a facility and these are available here
Council has recently undertaken consultation with the community over an 8 week period over May and June 2015 on the proposed Stadium. Further information regarding this proposal and the consultation can be found here
Consultation on the concept of building a multi sports stadium was largely positive. There were numerous suggestions and feedback about the size and scale of the facility, and Council is currently compiling all of the feedback to shortlist a number of feasible sites for the stadium. Once Council endorses the possible locations we will be holding further consultation sessions with the community to determine the location.
What is the need for the Darebin Multi-Use Sports Stadium?
It has been nearly 20 years since Council’s last significant investment in local sports infrastructure and we’re now experiencing a critical shortage of sports facilities in our municipality – particularly in the south.
This shortage of facilities makes it more difficult for people to get involved in court sports – with many residents forced to travel outside Darebin to access courts and others not participating at all. This is reflected in Darebin’s low sports participation rates (compared to the State average).
The need for investment in indoor and outdoor sports facilities was determined through several pieces of work including the Major Regional Leisure Facilities Report (2014) and the Outdoor Multi Court Feasibility Study (2014), which both identified an immediate need for an indoor/outdoor multi-purpose sports complex to meet a municipal-wide shortage.The shortage of sports courts in Darebin has also been identified by the Victorian State Government, who have prioritised the development of 64 netball courts across four inner-city Melbourne municipalities, including Darebin, as part of their 2015–2019 budget. For all these reasons, there is a strong case for the development of a multi-sports stadium in Darebin to encourage more residents to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of getting active through sport.
What is a Development Contributions Plan (DCP)?
A Development Contributions Plan (DCP) outlines the financial contribution required from developers to contribute towards public infrastructure projects in the City of Darebin over a 10 year outlook.
The DCP is administered via the Planning Scheme and and payment of a development contribution is ‘triggered’ when planning permits are issued. The DCP is an Incorporated Document to the Darebin Planning Scheme. Any change to the DCP requires a Planning Scheme Amendment.
How is the DCP different to rates?
Development contributions are distinct from rates.
Rates are taxes that bear no relationship to infrastructure need or use. Development contributions are payments provided by developers towards the supply of new infrastructure (or upgrades to existing infrastructure) to support new development.
As such, development contributions are ‘user pays’ charges, meaning contributions taken must be spent on the infrastructure projects they were charged for.
What types of development does Darebin’s DCP levy?
A DCP can levy two main types of infrastructure, Development Infrastructure and Community Infrastructure.
Darebin’s DCP levied Community Infrastructure, and three kinds of Development Infrastructure, being Parkland, Drainage, and Roads.
How much money was collected from Darebin DCP levies?
Forecast revenue from the DCP was based on population and dwelling forecasts developed in 2000-2002.
The forecast revenue was $4,953,724, however, actual contributions were $8,039,755. The main reason for this difference was that the development forecasts were conservative and development was far above what was anticipated. The actual growth was 115% above what was anticipated.
How has Council spent collected DCP levies to date?
The original DCP listed 879 infrastructure projects worth over $64 million that were to be delivered through the DCP. However only 673 of these projects were delivered 206 were not.
There were valid reasons for the non-delivery of projects, including:
1. Reprioritisation of road projects because some road assets deteriorated slower than forecasted due to uneven and unpredictable weather patterns; and
2. Development growth in the DCP area was uneven (as the DCP was designed so that infrastructure projects would be developed in the specific areas where development occurred and charges were developed for different areas based on the anticipated development forecasts). This resulted in some infrastructure projects not going ahead due to less development than anticipated being undertaken in those areas.
It should be noted that during the DCP period, Darebin also delivered other capital projects which were not funded via development contributions to address the uneven and higher than anticipated growth in some areas.
More detailed information regarding DCP income and expenditure is contained in the “DCP Audit Report and Management of Unspent Funds” prepared by SGS economics available here