What is a Development Contributions Plan?

    A Development Contributions Plan (DCP) places a levy on new development to contribute to the cost of essential city infrastructure for our growing community, including roads and paths, as well as community facilities and upgrades. New development generates additional usage of Council’s infrastructure with new residents and increased commercial activity, so it is important that developers contribute to a share of this cost.

    A DCP identifies required infrastructure to be funded through development contributions over the life of the plan. New development will only pay a portion of infrastructure project costs through the DCP, with the balance to be funded from Council rates and other funding sources.

    Why do we need a Development Contributions Plan?

    Darebin’s population is expected to grow from 165,000 in 2019 to more than 230,000 in 2041 and new and upgraded infrastructure will be required to meet the needs of the future community. The DCP is a common levy used by local government to ensure that the cost of providing infrastructure is shared between developers and the wider community on a fair and equitable basis. The levy will help fund new infrastructure as our City grows.

    A DCP is a common planning tool available to all Victorian Councils under the planning framework. A number of metropolitan Melbourne councils have DCPs currently in place, including neighbouring Councils Moreland and Banyule.

    Introducing a new DCP was one of the Big Actions in Darebin’s Council Plan 2017-21.

    What is Amendment C170dare?

    Amendment C170dare is the name given to the planning scheme amendment process used to amend the Darebin Planning Scheme to introduce the new Darebin Development Contributions Plan 2019.

    It will do this by adding a new Schedule to the Development Contributions Plan Overlay (DCPO) into scheme and adding the Darebin Development Contributions Plan 2019 as an incorporated document.  This will allow Council to collect levies from new developments proposing to increase the number of dwellings and/or increase leasable commercial, retail or industrial floor area. The levies will help fund new infrastructure as our City grows.

    We are currently in the public exhibition stage of the planning scheme amendment process, and there are a number of stages to go before it is finalised.

    How will the levy be used?

    A DCP can help fund two types of infrastructure:

    • Development infrastructure
    • Community Infrastructure 

    Development infrastructure include roads, paths, drainage and basic community infrastructure items: kindergartens, childcare centres and maternal and child health care facilities.

    Community infrastructure includes other buildings or facilities used for community or social purposes, such as community hubs and multi-purpose pavilions. The levy contributions can only be used for projects specified in the DCP.

    Who will the levy apply to?

    The levy would apply only when development results in additional dwellings and/or non-residential floorspace.  This is to fairly share the cost of providing new or upgraded community infrastructure needed for a larger population.

    The levy does not apply where existing dwellings are being replaced, extended or renovated, where fences or outbuildings normal to a dwelling are being constructed, or where social housing is being developed.

    The DCP will apply to all land within the City of Darebin, except Commonwealth land.

    The levy does not apply to existing development. The levy applies to new development that proposes to increase the number of dwellings and/or increase commercial, retail or industrial floor area.

    Other exemptions include:

    • Land developed for a non-government school, as defined in Ministerial Direction on the Preparation and Content of Development Contributions Plans of 11 October 2016.
    • Servicing infrastructure constructed by a utility authority.
    • Darebin City Council delivered projects, building or works.
    • Land with a legal agreement that exempts the development from one or more DCP Overlay Schedules due to the development having met its DCP obligations.

    See examples of common development types and information on how/if the proposed levy applies.

    How are the levies calculated?

    The purpose of the DCP is to list needed infrastructure items Darebin City Council will deliver over the next two decades (to the end of 2041) and nominate levies that will be applied to new development over the DCP timeframe using the state government’s approved cost apportionment method.

    The method is designed to ensure that the cost of providing new infrastructure is shared between developers and the wider community on a fair and reasonable basis.

    The municipality has been divided in 16 separate charge areas. Each charge area attracts an individual levy for the type of development.

    The amount of a development contribution varies depending on the type of development (residential, retail, commercial or industrial), the cost of projects in the development area, and the projected level of development over the life of the DCP.

    Example: An applicant in Charge Area 5 proposes to demolish an existing dwelling and build two new townhouses. In this case one additional dwelling is being created. For one dwelling, Charge Area 5 requires payment of $584 Community Infrastructure Levy and $149 Development infrastructure Levy, for a total DCP levy of $733.

    How will I know the levy amount I will have to pay?

    The proposed levy rates for the different Charge Areas and development types are included in Schedule 2 of the Development Contributions Plan Overlay, Clause 45.06 (see Amendment C170dare Exhibition Documents) . You will need to use the rate to apply to the additional dwellings / commercial floor area of your proposed development.

    These rates are subject to annual indexing.

    How much does Council expect the DCP to contribute to infrastructure projects?

    The proposed DCP includes 72 projects with an estimated total cost of $120M. It is anticipated that the DCP levy will collect approximately $29M, or around 24 per cent of the estimated total cost of these projects. 

    Council will be responsible for delivering these projects through to 2041.

    A full list of projects can be viewed in the C170dare Darebin Development Contributions Plan 2019 (October 2020) incorporated document Exhibition.

    How were projects selected for the DCP?

    The list of projects included in the DCP has been prepared based on Council's long-term capital works program and the principles, criteria and guidelines under the established DCP system. Darebin’s long-term capital works program is guided by Council and community priorities, the directions and outcomes outlined in Council’s adopted strategies and policies, and forecast resourcing and delivery capacity. 

    Some projects included in the DCP have been the subject of individual consultation processes and other are supported by broader Council policies or strategies which have themselves been through a community consultation process. 

    Council intends to review the DCP at regular intervals and as new infrastructure items are identified, that fit the DCP criteria, these will be considered for adding to the list.

    Projects shown in this DCP do not overlap with Council’s Open Space Levy. The Open Space Levy will not be used for funding of projects in this DCP or vice versa.

    When does a DCP levy need to be paid?

    Payment of the Development Infrastructure Levy is made at one of the following stages:

    • prior to the issue of a statement of compliance for an approved subdivision
    • prior to issue of a building permit
    • where no planning permit is required payment of the levy is to be made prior to issue of a building permit under the Building Act 1993.

    Payment of the Community Infrastructure Levy must be made before the date of issue of a Building Permit.

    Both levies are paid to Council, which is the Collecting Agency under The Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

    When will the levy come into effect?

    The levy will apply from the date Amendment C170dare comes into effect in the Darebin Planning Scheme. An amendment comes into effect after it has been adopted by Council and approved by the Minister for Planning.

    There are no transitional provisions for the DCP. If you lodge a planning permit application for leviable development before Amendment C170dare comes into effect, and Council decides your application on or after the date Amendment C170dare comes into effect, the DCP levy will apply.

    If you have your required planning, building and subdivision permits before Amendment C170dare comes into effect, the levy is not applicable.

    If you have a planning permit but not a building permit before Amendment C170dare comes into effect, you may be required to pay the levy before the building permit issued.

    Will a levy such as this one impact new development to make it harder to build affordable housing?

    Under the proposed DCP, social housing is exempt from the levy.

    The DCP will add a moderate cost to leviable development and is not expected to significantly impact on future development and/or the capacity to provide affordable housing.

    How is the DCP levy different to the Open Space Levy?

    The Open Space Levy (OSL) is another mechanism in the planning scheme that enables councils to collect funds for open spaces from developers. The OSL is calculated in a different way to the DCP levy and the funds are used to either provide new open space and/or improve existing open space. DCPs are designed to help fund a broader range of infrastructure projects to meet the needs of the community, including roads, paths and community infrastructure. 

    Monies collected through the DCP levies cannot be used for open space projects funded by the OSL. There are some open-space related projects identified in the DCP list (e.g. pavilions) however these will only be funded through the DCP.

    I want to develop my property. Does this mean I would have to pay both the DCP levy and the Open Space Levy?

    If your development meets criteria for both these levies (see above FAQ on what types of development pay the DCP levy), then yes, you must pay both.

    Council is currently undertaking a planning scheme amendment process to increase the OSL contribution. You can find further information on the OSL Your Say page

    How can I have my say?

    Amendment C170dare is now on exhibition for public comment.

    Submissions must be made in writing and must:

    • Include your name and contact details*
    • Clearly state the grounds on which you support or oppose the amendment
    • Indicate the changes (if any) you want to make

    Closing date for submissions is 14 December 2020.

    You can use the online form to make a submission.

    If you cannot make an online submission, you can send us hard copy submission in English or your preferred language. To ensure your submission is considered, please allow enough time to make sure the form is received by 14 December 2020 and include your first name, last name, mailing address, email (if applicable) and phone number*. 

    Send to:

    Attention: Coordinator Strategic Planning

    Darebin City Council

    PO Box 91,

    Preston, VIC 3072

    * Name and contact details of submitters are required for Council to consider submissions and to notify such persons of the opportunity to attend Council meetings and any public hearing held to consider submissions.

    What happens to my submission?

    Under the Act, Council must make a copy of every submission available at its office during office hours, or online, free of charge until two months after the amendment comes into operation or lapses.

    How can I have my say?

    The public exhibition and submissions period for Amendment C170dare ended on 14 December 2020. 

    At its meeting on 22 March 2021, Council considered all submissions and resolved to refer the amendment to an independent Planning Panel.

    A copy of the Council report and minutes from the meeting can be viewed on the Darebin website.

    Submitters to the amendment will have a chance to have their say at the Panel hearing. 

    What happens to my submission?

    Council must make a copy of submissions made during exhibition of the amendment available at its office during office hours, or online, free of charge until two months after the amendment comes into operation or lapses.

    What happens next?

    Submitters to the amendment will have a chance to have their say at the Panel hearing. 

    The Panel will consider submissions and provide a report with recommendations about the amendment for Council's consideration early in the second half of 2021.