Contributions refers to the money collected from developments to help maintain and build new infrastructure across Bellingen Shire, such as playgrounds, community facilities, drainage and local roads. Planned projects are listed in the works schedule of the relevant contribution plan.
Contributions are levied on certain types of Development Applications and Complying Development Certificates. CDCs issued by accredited private certifiers are also required to pay contributions.
How Council collects contributions is set out under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including Section 7.11, Section 7.12 and Planning Agreements.
Note: Separate Contributions can also be required by Council in respect of the supply of water and sewer under relevant provisions of Section 306 of the Water Management Act 2000.
Section 7.11 Contributions Plan
Council does not currently have any adopted Section 7.11 Contribution Plans that it uses to collect contributions for new development.
On occasion however, a development consent that was issued before June 2021 will have conditions of consent that require the payment of Contributions in accordance with a historic Section 7.11 Plan (or equivalent) that applied at the time. In these circumstances, the amount of the Contribution included in the development consent will still need to be paid, however an updated figure will need to be supplied by Council that incorporates any relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) change that has occurred since that time.
The development consent will specify when this contribution is required to be paid to Council – this is usually before the issue of a Construction certificate (for a building) or a Subdivision Certificate (for a subdivision).
Section 7.12 Contributions Plans
Contributions levied under Section 7.12 Contributions Plan apply to development with a proposed cost of $100,00 or more unless it is type of development that is exempted from payment, as listed below.
- Development for the purpose of the adaptive re-use of an item of environmental heritage contained in Council’s Environmental Heritage Schedule in the LEP.
- Development for the sole purpose of providing affordable housing or social housing by a social housing provider.
- Dwelling houses that replace an existing dwelling house, or a dwelling house that existed on the land at the date this plan commenced.
- Dwelling houses (including alterations and additions) on land that was the subject of a section 7.11 contribution on the initial subdivision of that land.
- Secondary dwellings.
- Development by a social housing provider for the purposes of seniors housing as defined in State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004
- Alterations and additions to a residential dwelling where the cost of works is less than $100,000
- Development exempted from section 7.12 levies2 by way of a direction made by the Minister for Planning. Copies of the current directions are available to download from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.
- Development, public amenities, services and facilities provided by or on behalf of the Council.
- Development that involves rebuilding or repair of damage resulting from declared natural disasters (such as flooding or bushfires) by the NSW State Government
Contributions are calculated on the total cost of the proposed development.
Summary of Levy Rates
Proposed cost of development
Percentage of the levy
Less than and including $100,000
More than $100,000 (up to and including $200,000)
More than $200,000
Where a section 7.12 levy is required under this plan in relation to a development application or a CDC application, the application is to be accompanied by a Cost Summary Report, prepared at the applicant’s cost, setting out the estimated cost of the proposed development.
Sample cost summary reports are provided in Appendix B of the Section 7.12 Contributions Plan.
A planning agreement is a voluntary agreement between a planning authority (eg. Council) and a Developer, under which the Developer is required to dedicate land free of cost, pay a monetary contribution, or provide any other material public benefit, or any combination of them, to be used for or applied towards a public purpose. Some developments may seek to enter into a Planning Agreement to provide contributions instead of, or in addition to, Section 7.11 or 7.12.
Planning Agreements provide an element of flexibility within what can be a rigid planning system, to allow for unique planning outcomes that provide demonstrable public benefits. These are however detailed legal documents requiring a rigorous process of public exhibition and approval by the elected Council.
Should you wish to enter into a Planning Agreement with Council then the terms of the offer should be emailed to Council at the following for initial review and discussion.
Request to enter VPA with Council
You may also wish to firstly discuss the matter with Councils Duty Planner.