- Have you been conditioned to build non-trunk infrastructure as part of your development that is required to be built to a trunk standard?
- Does the conditioned infrastructure provide benefit to development in the wider area?
The planning legislation allows for a ‘Conversion Application’ to be lodged by an applicant, which if successful, requires Council to recognise conditioned non-trunk infrastructure (not creditable) as trunk infrastructure (creditable). This process is in place to maintain fairness and equity in the provision of trunk infrastructure, the levying of infrastructure charges, and to deal with any deficiencies in network planning by a local government or distributor retailer (e.g. QUU). In more recent times there has been a tendency by numerous Queensland councils to limit the extent of trunk infrastructure identified within their Local Government Infrastructure Plans, making it more difficult to seek charge offsets and refunds for the provision of major conditioned infrastructure items (i.e. those which may be trunk infrastructure).
Integran has recently completed a successful conversion application for non-trunk into trunk infrastructure with Brisbane City Council (BCC), which resulted in just under $500K being credited against the development’s infrastructure charges. Integran regularly witnesses where Council’s overlook or misinterpret the requirements of the Planning Act 2016 with regards to conditioning for trunk infrastructure, leading to developers being unfairly conditioned to build non-trunk infrastructure items (when in fact they should be identified as trunk).
If you have been conditioned to build a non-trunk infrastructure item that is consistent with the below checklist, you may be eligible to claim an infrastructure offset or refund via a conversion application.
Conversion Application Checklist:
- The conditioned infrastructure item has capacity in excess of what is required to service your development and will benefit other development;
- The function and purpose of the infrastructure item is consistent with other trunk infrastructure items identified in the LGIP;
- The infrastructure item is not consistent with non-trunk infrastructure as identified in section 145 of the Planning Act (2016).
- The Infrastructure item provides for the most effective option for servicing multiple users in the area.
There are three situations in which your conditioned item may be eligible for a conversion application:
- The infrastructure item is identified in the LGIP as trunk infrastructure;
- The infrastructure item serves the same function as another trunk infrastructure item identified in the LGIP, and may even replace the need for the identified item;
- The infrastructure item serves the same function as other trunk infrastructure items but has not been identified in the LGIP.
Preferably, Integran attempts to deal with conversions during the decision stage or the negotiated decision notice stage of an application, however in some cases, a conversion application is necessary. Our range of services include the ability to work with engineers to provide justification and legislative support to successfully complete a conversion of non-trunk to trunk infrastructure items. The conversion application must be made within 1 year after the development approval starts to have affect and construction of the infrastructure item must not have commenced.
The potential benefits of successfully pursuing a conversion application can far outweigh the costs for the fees and application submission. If you have been conditioned to construct a non-trunk infrastructure item that you believe to align with the above checklist, contact the Integran office to discuss how we assist with your development.
Integran can provide your development with the full suite of advisory services surrounding infrastructure planning and charging, including:
- Infrastructure charges estimates, credits and offsets reviews for due diligence;
- Review of infrastructure conditions;
- Preparation of Demand Credit and Previous Financial Contribution assessments;
- Reviews and representations regarding Infrastructure Charges Notices;
- Requests for the market values for Trunk Infrastructure Works and Land (i.e. offsets); and
- Assistance with Infrastructure Agreement negotiations.
Contact Integran for more information.