The City of Boroondara welcomes the Victorian Government’s review of planning fees, supporting the option of a fairer cost recovery model that would enable Council to recover approximately 70 percent of planning services cost.

Council has regularly lobbied the Victorian Government to increase planning fees. The current fees were set in 2000 and did not include built-in annual indexation.

At present, the fees cover just 20 to 30 per cent of average planning service costs across all Victorian councils. With increasing complexity of planning issues, policies and controls, this situation has meant a continual transfer in costs from applicants to ratepayers. This is simply unfair.

The Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), released by the Victorian Government, outlined three options for councils to achieve cost recovery for planning services including development applications, planning scheme amendments and subdivision certifications.

Council’s submission supported option three identified in the RIS, which maintains a fee set below cost recovery for small scale developments such as single dwellings and extensions, with a full cost recovery model applied to more complex planning matters.

If adopted, the revised model would provide the most equitable method of sharing the cost burden between lower value developments and larger higher value developments and increase fee revenue for Council which could be used to improve its services.

The Victorian Government is expected to make a decision on the new fees in October 2016.