A PROPOSAL to introduce a development levy in one of Bendigo's growing suburbs has progressed.
All but one of the eight councillors present at tonight's ordinary meeting in the Bendigo Town Hall supported the Huntly Development Contributions Plan.
The city will seek an amendment to its planning scheme from the planning minister.
Councillors Andrea Metcalf, Malcolm Pethybridge and Rod Fyffe spoke in support of the proposal, which was expected to enable almost $24-million worth of infrastructure projects within the Huntly area.
Cr Metcalf said it was often a criticism of council that infrastructure did not keep up with the pace of growth.
She said the HDCP would provide certainty for developers by ensuring all the necessary infrastructure was provided in a timely way and to a specified standard.
"With the HDCP the cost of infrastructure is shared equitably by people who stand to benefit from the development," Cr Metcalf said.
More council news: Bendigo council meeting, August 2019
The proposed HDCP would span an area of 247 hectares, encompassing the properties of 30 land holders.
Money raised would be used to pay for off-road pedestrian and cycling trails, roads and intersections and a district playground.
Cr Metcalf said land holders who didn't develop their properties wouldn't have to make contributions.
Contributions were made at the time of subdivision.
She said there had been a delay in the decision coming to council to allow time to talk with the most affected land holders.
Council would have to acquire land for infrastructure upgrades. A report to councillors stated discussions had been initiated with six private owners.
Cr Metcalf told attendees at tonight's meeting affected land holders had been notified in writing, and there would be community consultation.
"This is the beginning of the process," she said.
Deputy mayor Cr Rod Fyffe said the HDCP was the way of the future, not only for the City of Greater Bendigo but for many other municipalities.
"It is a way of putting back into the community with certainty about what is going to happen and basically a timetable of when it will happen," he said.
"The other thing to remember is council will be contributing as well."
Not all infrastructure and services would be covered by the HDCP. Cr Fyffe said council would still have to make contributions.
Cr Matt Emond said he could not support the proposal, calling for more detail about the long-term social impacts.
"I think there is a fundamental piece missing," he said.
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