Developer appeals court ruling on funds for Ballina council
A Queensland developer is appealing a Land and Environment Court ruling in a further attempt to reduce contributions owed to Ballina Shire Council.
Intrapac, the developer behind the Aureus estate in Skennars Head, took the council to the Land and Environment Court when it did not, within a certain period of time, approve an application to reduce developer contributions arising from the 229-lot subdivision.
The development was approved by the Northern Regional Planning Panel, with conditions including $4,580,000 worth of contributions to be paid to the council.
Intrapac was also required to build a new roundabout, embellish parks within the development and invest $15,000 in public art.
The developer sought to have monetary contributions reduced by offsetting them against works required to be carried out.
The Land and Environment Court refused this application and ordered the developer to pay the full sum in January.
Intrapac has confirmed they lodged an appeal against this court ruling on February 5, the last day of the appeals window.
The council's director of planning and environmental health, Matthew Wood, said they were awaiting directions from the court.
"We expect further details regarding the process and timing to be available in the coming weeks," Mr Wood said.
Mr Wood said Intrapac is expected to appeal the ruling on the basis of "particular parts of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act with respect to developer contributions".
He said the council's developer contributions plans "set out planned infrastructure works that council intends to undertake using the contributions funds collected over time".
Reducing contributions based on other work not listed in this schedule can impact the council's ability to deliver planned work, he said.
There are circumstances where the council will reduce contributions for work; Mr Wood said Intrapac has been afforded this at Banyan Hill, where the developer is building a district park, community facility and sporting fields.
"Because these works are specifically listed in the contributions plan applicable to the Cumbalum Urban Release Area Precinct A contributions plan, Intrapac is not required to pay developer contributions for these items," he said.
He said a "distinct difference" with Aureus is that the works for which Intrapac is seeking a reduction are not listed in the relevant contribution plans.