Newcastle Ballet Theatre faces $44,000 in fees to Lake Macquarie City Council to move from one Cardiff rental property to another

By admin • 苏州性息 • 18 Apr 2019

Backlash: Newcastle Ballet Theatre owner Rider Vierling says his business will be crippled if he is forced to pay more than $44,000 worth of development contribution fees for moving from one rental property to another in Cardiff. Picture: Marina NeilA Cardiff ballet schoolowner says more than $44,000 worth of fees, being imposed by Lake Macquarie City Council as part of his small business’move from one rental property to another, will cripple his operation.
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Butcouncil has defended the fee, saying itwill help pay for much-needed road upgrades and maintenance in the suburb.

Rider Vierling, who runs Newcastle Ballet Theatre, planned to move from theMunibung Road premisesto a larger space about 600 metres away on Mitchell Road.

When he lodged an application with council for a change of use atthe new property, he was toldit would cost $44,700 in development contributions.

Lake Macquarie council, like others across the state, charges fees as part of the development approval process to raise money to maintain and upgrade essential infrastructure, such as local roads.

Council will spend $3.2 million of its own money on roadsat Cardiff, with$7.8 million to come from development contributions.

Mr Vierling saidthepolicy was “anti-small business”.

“I would be shocked to find any small business that could afford to pay $45,000and be out of pocket essentially for no return,” he said.

“Essentially it’s [council] trying to fill their coffers to cover the road improvements for the area.”

Council charges the fees only in areas where maintenance or improvements are deemed necessary –there are several parts of Lake Macquarie where the feeswould not be charged.

Mr Vierling said it was important for his business to remain in Cardiff, so the move would be abandoned if hisfees weren’t significantly reduced or waived.

“If wemoved to, say, Belmont we would have no fee attached, but our issue with that is we are a community school,” he said.“We have local kids and we are established in this community.”

A council spokesperson said the fee wasbased on the number of peak vehicle journeys the business was expected to generate each day.

Council predictedthe ballet theatre wouldgenerate 41 journeys.

“The existing local road network of Cardiff and surrounds cannot meet the increased traffic anticipated from future development, so requires various upgrades for which a contribution is required by council,” the spokesperson said.

“Increased traffic is expected to come from both development of vacant sites and the change of use of existing sites.”

When asked whether the fee was a disincentive for small businesses to move to Cardiff, the spokesperson said council“acknowledges there is an impact to businesses”but it was“imperative”to upgrade local roads to meet the needs of growing areas.

Council is reviewing whether the ballet school will generate 41 peak vehicle trips per day and staff are considering a review of the policy“in relation to levying employment generating developments”.

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