VPA a big win for the community
Inner west residents will now realise the benefits of a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) that was negotiated in 2014.
The VPA, which was associated with Meriton’s Lewisham Towers redevelopment, has resulted in more than $10 million in public benefits.
- Four residential units transferred to Council for affordable housing purposes (est. value of $2.7 million)
- 3,300m2 of land transferred to Council for the purposes of a public park (est. value of $3 million)
- Embellishment of the park to an appropriate standard (at a cost of $2.5 million)
- A strata unit with associated parking for the purposes of a community room (agreed value of $1.1 million)
- Public domain improvements over and above the normal to facilitate access from the light rail station to the heavy rail station at Lewisham (at a cost of $300,000)
- A cash payment of almost $1.1 million
“Council drove a very hard bargain on this VPA, which was almost 18 months in the making,” said Inner West Council Administrator Richard Pearson.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome, especially as it compares so favourably to the $4.5 million we would have secured under the normal Section 94 contributions arrangement,” Mr Pearson said.
“Council has already taken ownership of the affordable housing units, and these will be managed for us by a community housing provider. Council has agreed to sign a contract with Link Housing, and we expect that be finalised in the next week or so, enabling these units to be put to good use.
“Transfer of the new community room is now complete, and Council will take responsibility for its fit-out. We have also committed to contribute public art to the new park,” Mr Pearson said.
“I congratulate Inner West Council staff on this really inspiring achievement – I hope it sets a benchmark for many more hugely beneficial VPAs in the future.
“And going forward, I hope to be able to secure even better affordable housing outcomes from renewal sites in the future when our city-leading 15% target becomes official Council policy,” Mr Pearson said.