What is a Voluntary Planning Agreement?
Voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) are arrangements between developers and either councils or the State Government for infrastructure contributions collected for purposes not covered by a contributions plan. Section 7.4 of the EP&A Act allows councils and developers to voluntarily agree to a contribution arrangement. Examples of this could include a developer paying an additional contribution in relation to a change to a planning instrument or contributing infrastructure that was not anticipated at the time the contributions plan was developed. Contributions collected under a VPA do not have to demonstrate the same direct support for the infrastructure needs associated with the development as those collected under a contributions plan, although they must be related to the development in some way.
What is the development application history?
The site is located at 1-13 Parramatta Road, Annandale. The total site area is approximately 1,765 square metres. The site is located within a predominantly residential area to the north, characterised by one and two storey developments. The surrounding streetscape consists mainly of two – three storey mixed use buildings with ground floor commercial spaces and first floor residential. The Modified Development Application involves a mixed-use development comprising of two shops and 42 residential units.
Development Application (D/2017/161) was approved through the Land and Environment Court (LEC). A modification application of D/2017/161 was lodged with Council on 4 April 2019 and appealed to the LEC as a deemed refusal on 14 November 2019. A conciliation conference was held on 30 January 2020 and adjourned several times as the parties worked collaboratively in an attempt to resolve the matter by agreement. The conciliation conference was terminated by the LEC and set for hearing on 30 & 31 March 2021. The parties were able to reach an agreement during the hearing. The consent orders included the parties entering into a VPA, subject to Council resolution, in accordance with draft attached to the consent orders. The LEC grant the modification application on 18 May 2021.