Monday, May 27, 2024

Hastings adopts revised development contributions policy

Heretaunga – Hastings District Council has announced increases to development fees to pay for infrastructure to support the district’s growth will be phased in over five years to spread the costs for those undertaking residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Earlier this year, Council sought feedback on a proposal to increase development contributions to help meet the costs associated with servicing the significant urban growth that’s expected in the years ahead.

A significant portion of those costs was the investment needed in wastewater infrastructure to support the increased activity.

While central government funding had contributed $18m toward the wastewater development programme, a significant portion would be paid by development contributions. 

Development contributions were a way of recovering costs from those benefitting from, or necessitating, investment in the infrastructure.

Those responsible for creating growth within the district – whether through subdivisions, buildings, new service connections or a change in land use – were asked to pay a fair share of the resulting additional infrastructure cost incurred by council.

Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said Hastings had been undergoing a huge amount of growth over the past eight years and this was expected to continue.

“People want to invest here and we need to enable them by ensuring there is fit-for-purpose infrastructure to develop more housing and industry,” she said.

“Council and government investment, along with Development Contributions, is the most equitable tool we have to fund the critical infrastructure that’s needed to service the growth that’s happening.”

The Mayor said Council would stage the proposed wastewater projects, so the fees would be considerably less in the first two years than was first proposed in the Long Term Plan amendment that was consulted on.

The increases would come into effect from August 1 this year, and would see the likes of annual greenfield residential development fees initially rise from $27,000 to $34,000, and infill housing development fees increase from $16,000 to $23,000 in the 2023/24 year. 

Further increases were being signalled in 2025/26 and 2027/28 subject to the further rollout of the full wastewater infrastructure plan.

The staged approach to implementing the wastewater projects will allow Council to reassess and adapt its approach if appropriate, the Mayor said.

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