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Council charges for developing sections in Dunedin are set to more than double in some areas.
The Dunedin City Council says the proposed new rates would still be some of the cheapest in the country.
But a developer said he would fight the proposed hikes, saying the council was making development harder.
Councillors yesterday voted to send an updated development contributions policy out for public consultation.
Development contributions, which are a one-off charge paid by developers, are used to fund growth-related infrastructure.
Changes included the removal of $5000 caps on specific infrastructure types, private development agreements for developments within the Mosgiel plan change area, and significant increases to the total contributions paid in almost every area of the district.
In some specific instances contributions would be double the current charges.
Dunedin Central brownfields development charges would jump from $8490 to $13,660, while Middlemarch costs would increase from $1340 to $11,010.
But councillors were overwhelmingly in favour of the changes, pointing out that if the money did not come from developers, the burden would fall on ratepayers.
Deputy mayor Christine Garey said the proposed charges would still be some of the lowest in the country, and said people got incredible value for their money.
She believed that meant Dunedin would still be looked at by potential developers very favourably compared with other places.
It was expected that contribution rates would go up as rates of growth increased, Cr Jim O’Malley said.
"This is growth, not renewals."
If development contributions did not increase, the money would have to come from ratepayers, he said.
Cr Mike Lord said the value of sections continued to climb, and he did not believe "a few
extra dollars" would stop
It was unfortunate the increases were so high, Cr Jules Radich said, and he knew people who would be incurring those costs.
However, he believed the costs were justified and was ultimately supportive.
Cr Carmen Houlahan was the lone nay vote on the proposal, saying increasing the costs significantly during a housing crisis was concerning.
"I get numerous complaints from developers that costs are too restrictive," she said.
Dunedin property developer Lloyd Morshuis said he would fight the proposed hikes.
He said contributions were supposed to be related to developments, not "old infrastructure the DCC hasn’t upgraded for 30, 40 years".
While the contribution rates would still be cheaper than in other regions, the cost of development was higher in Dunedin in general because of its hilly landscape, he said.
"They’re just making the whole job harder, they’re leaving it open for only big corporations to come in and do developments," Mr Morshuis said.
"People just won’t bother."
The report to councillors stated there would be targeted engagement with developers, as well as public consultation alongside 10-year plan consultation.
Fellow developer Allan Dippie said Dunedin had traditionally been a bit behind other centres in terms of what it charged, so the new rates were "pretty realistic".
But, he believed constraints on development and growth meant there was not much development happening anyway, rendering the point somewhat moot.