Voluntary planning agreements are one of the methods developers can use to contribute to funding the public infrastructure required to support new development and population growth. The inclusion of voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) within the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (section 93F), was part of a developer contribution system reform which occurred during 2005.
VPAs are contractual agreements between developers and planning authorities, by which developers undertake to make contributions for a “public purpose” such as:
• public amenities and public services
• affordable housing
• transport or other infrastructure.
Contributions can be made through:
• dedication of land
• monetary contributions
• construction of infrastructure
• provision of materials for public benefit and/or use.
Voluntary Planning Agreements cannot be entered into unless public notice has been given and an explanatory note is made available for inspection for at least 28 days.
Council’s policy for assessing, negotiating and governing VPAs is provided below.