Development contributions, planning agreements & value capture

Helping consent authorities and developers unlock the development potential of land

Development contributions, whether they be the provision of infrastructure, monetary contributions or other public benefits, have been crucial to unlocking the development potential of land in NSW.

Working with both consent authorities and developers, we aim to achieve our clients’ outcomes and allow development to move forward in a timely and cost effective manner whilst helping fund the vital infrastructure that is the basis of liveable and workable communities.

We act upon the full range of development contribution issues including advising on individual levies and contribution plans; advising, drafting and negotiating innovative agreements to facilitate urban renewal or new communities; and value capture mechanisms associated with major development projects.

Our knowledge and expertise is unmatched in the marketplace.

Recognised & highly respected specialist expertise

LTL is NSW’s recognised specialist law firm in relation to development contributions and levies, voluntary planning agreements, value capture and the like.

Our senior development contributions & VPA team –  Dr Lindsay Taylor, Megan Hawley, Frances Tse, Stuart Simington & Sue Puckeridge – are unsurpassed in the breadth and depth of their experience.

Dr Lindsay Taylor, in particular, is  NSW’s leading expert. He has been at the forefront of reforms relating to development contributions and planning agreements for nearly 20 years. It was his doctoral thesis which argued for the need for NSW to introduce a system that allowed negotiation into the development contribution system based on international best practice and he was subsequently a member of the Ministerial task force that reviewed the development contributions system. He has advised the NSW Department of Planning on numerous occasions, including the introduction and implementation of the planning agreement legislation in 2005 and in helping design the subsequent system of regulation.

Where we can assist

We regularly assist both state and local government authorities and the development industry with our specialist expertise relating to the following:

  • drafting, negotiating and advising on developer contributions and levies, contribution plans and contribution systems, including policies and procedures
  • advising on offers to enter planning agreements and associated Planning Proposals
  • drafting, negotiating and advising on planning agreements, development agreements, works-in-kind agreements and other infrastructure funding agreements, including advising on the powers of councils, the Minister for Planning and the Director-General of the Department of Planning
  • advising local and state government agencies on the probity and practical aspects of complex developments where they are both the consent authority and the developer
  • representing clients in the Land and Environment Court in relation to appeals against s94 contribution conditions, the enforcement of planning agreements and other development contributions and infrastructure funding issues
  • advising on the innovative use of environmental planning instruments, development control plans and other statutory planning controls to achieve desirable public infrastructure outcomes
  • drafting and advising on planning agreement policies, the tendering provisions of public sector procurement requirements and public-private partnership provisions