Gwydir Shire Council needs to develop a policy for urban and industrial development, it was decided at the last meeting, held on July 31, in Warialda.
Until now, development applications have been considered on a case by case basis. However, it has become apparent that this is not desirable, due to the need for consistency and to appear fair to all concerned.
The catalyst for this decision has been a development application from Mr and Mrs David Rose for Lot 56, Salter Street Bingara.
At the last meeting of Gwydir Shire Council a motion was carried “that the matter be deferred at the applicant’s request to allow further discussion to occur. Further, that Council prepare a policy for subdivision charges, such as road and water, as a matter of urgency for consideration at the August Ordinary Council meeting.”
Crs David Rose (part owner) and Peter Pankhurst (possible subdivider) along with General Manager, Max Eastcott (adjoining property interest) declared a pecuniary interest in the item and left the meeting for the duration of the debate.
Mayor, Peter Caskey said that “Council needs to be mindful that the public may perceive that a developer is treated favourably.
Conversely, (he/she) needs to be treated fairly and not penalised because (he/she) is a member of Council.
Environmental Services Director, Roger McGrath said that he was in favour of the developer contributing to the costs of development rather than the ratepayers of the shire. According to Cr John Wearne, this was the case with The Park development on the outskirts of Bingara, which was undertaken by Ron Greenaway in 2004, where the developer was charged the full amount for water connection.
Cr Wearne commented that the policy “needs to be flexible as well as clear”, so that developers are not put off.
He was particularly concerned that there is room to offer industrial developers incentives to undertake development which will benefit the communities in the shire.