Fees hit developers

Kristy Ambrose, of Shoalwater, with Charlotte Ambrose (4 months). Picture: Elle Borgward d406586
Kristy Ambrose, of Shoalwater, with Charlotte Ambrose (4 months). Picture: Elle Borgward d406586

Subdivision of Kristy Ambrose’s battleaxe block was nearly complete, and Ian and Glenis Tomic said they had proposed to subdivide their 2000sq m block for six villas.

All said they had informal advice from the City around 18 months ago about fees they might expect: Ms Ambrose was expecting about $5000 and the Tomics about $36,000.

The Tomics have now received an estimate of $200,000 and Ms Ambrose of $70,000, nearly half the block’s value.

‘We’ve paid $50,000 to get it done. What do we do? We’re lost. Like most people, we don’t have $70,000 sitting in the bank,’ she said.

Central Maddington is subject to a plan designed to encourage infill, under which developers must help pay for infrastructure.

Ms Ambrose said far from encouraging development, the proposed contribution arrangement would stop it.

Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said redeveloping established areas was different and more costly than developing vacant land. He said main factors were the new open spaces and service upgrades that had to accompany modern infill.

‘The City is cognisant that the cost estimates may discourage some people from developing in the short term,’ he said.

Other City ratepayers did not directly benefit from development, so should not help shoulder the costs.

Mr Cowie said the City was still investigating options and supported, in principle, allowing cost deferral until developments were complete.