New proposed “heads of agreement” Legislation

Alderman Marti Zucco will be seeking new powers for Councils under State legislation to allow Councils to negotiate a “heads of agreement” with developers that provide affordable housing and rental accommodation as part of their respective developments.

Alderman Zucco said that currently Councils do not have the power to reach agreements with any size developer that provides affordable or rental housing

There is an opportunity to provide bonus plot rations, density or building envelope bonuses and or increased heights subject to conditions where developers provide these type of housing stock for the market.

I am seeking a report that provides options for the Council to seek State Government support for legislative changes that gives the Council a “Head of Power” under the Local Government and/or Land Use Planning and Approvals Acts specifically allow the Council to require the provision of, or the contribution for, affordable and/or long term rental apartments/housing in certain developments and or precincts.

That the report also consider:

(a)  Further planning incentives such as bonuses to density, building envelopes, dwelling unit factors or permitted height allowances similar to those within the Commercial Zone of the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015 for affordable and/or long term rental accommodation;

(b)  Guidelines for binding agreements between the Council, developers and/or affordable housing providers to manage any affordable housing provided in accordance with any new head of power outlined above; and

(c)  Options to require any dwellings approved under bonus provisions to remain on the rental market for a minimum of 5 to 10 years depending on the development or planning bonuses”

“It is widely known that there is a shortage of affordable housing and in particular housing rental properties. Currently councils do not have the ability to make agreements to provide bonus development to any size developer that delivers affordable housing and rental properties as part of their development.

As an example a small developer that has a parcel of land say at 1000 square meters and the dwelling unit factor is say 350m2 the developer can only build 3 units/apartments under the above proposal.  If the developer enters into an agreement with Council to provide either an extra apartment for the affordable housing market or the rental market for a period of say 10 years, the developer may receive these bonuses that could see 4 units/apartments built on the site (subject to meeting other planning guidelines). Similarly medium to larger developers may also achieve bonus development on similar bases such as bonus height and density where the height or density is specific to affordable or rental housing.

For example, New South Wales Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 considers the promotion of the social and economic welfare of the community as one of its objectives.  In 1999 the Act was amended to specifically include the provision and maintenance of affordable housing as an Object of the Act. The Act allows for the collection of contributions for affordable housing where a need for affordable housing is identified.  State Environmental Planning Policy No.70 – Affordable housing (Revised Schemes) 2009 (SEPP70) identifies that there is a need for affordable housing in the City of Sydney.  The Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 contains controls for the calculation, levying and management of affordable housing contributions in the City of Sydney.

Tasmania could develop legislation that would allow a developer to increase density provisions if they provide affordable housing or rental housing for a period so rather than simply have a heads of agreement to “collect” funds for a pool to hopefully build them in the future a model that provides bonuses for those developers that implement them in their developments will see this occur on a regular basis. What is needed is heads of agreement legislation for councils to negotiate on any specific development.


This is an opportunity to have regular rental properties and affordable housing on the market, it is a win/win situation for the city and changes to legislation will provide councils with the power to achieve heads of agreement.”


For further details call Marti Zucco


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