New Housing and Productivity Contributions Scheme
On 13 July 2023 assent was given to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023 (NSW) following its passing on 28 June 2023. The Bill amends the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EPA Act) to provide for housing and productivity contributions. This article provides an overview of the key changes associated with the new Housing and Productivity (HAP) Scheme (Scheme).
The purpose of the new Scheme is to facilitate the provision of ‘regional infrastructure’ that supports and promotes housing and economic activity. Such regional infrastructure extends to public amenities, affordable housing, public housing, transport infrastructure, regional or state roads, and measures to conserve or enhance the natural environment for the benefit of a region.
This Scheme replaces the existing Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) system with new broad-based developer charges:
- this replaces the entire schedule 4 of the EPA Act; and
- the former SIC provisions will continue to apply, subject to the regulations made under clause (4).
The Scheme provides for a Ministerial planning order which may require a housing and productivity contribution towards the provision of regional infrastructure. Any such Ministerial planning order must address matters including the level and nature of the regional infrastructure contribution, the components of the contribution, including transport project components or strategic biodiversity components, in addition to other matters. Before making such an order, the Minister for Planning and Environment must obtain the concurrence of the Treasurer. If a Ministerial planning order requires a housing and productivity contribution in relation to a development, a consent authority or certifier must impose a condition in a development consent or a complying development certificate, respectively, for the development to require the contribution.
The Scheme also provides for the establishment of a Housing and Productivity Fund (HAP Fund) to support housing and promote economic activity in each region for which a housing and productivity contribution is required. The HAP Fund is to be administered by the Treasury Secretary for the purpose of providing a source of funding for regional infrastructure in the region that:
- facilitates the achievement of the planning priorities identified in a strategic plan applicable in the region;
- is able to be delivered in a reasonable time; and
- is aligned with the asset management plan of the public authority to whom funding is provided.
The amount of HAP Contributions payable will depend on the location and type of the particular development proposed (residential, commercial, retail or industrial).
The commencement date for this Scheme and associated changes is yet to be determined.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.