Mandatory Public Open Space Contribution for subdivision applications in Frankston

Frankston Council is seeking to make public open space contributions mandatory for future subdivision applications made in the municipality. Amendment C127 has been proposed by Frankston Council which will include an increase to contributions rates in higher density and activity areas. This amendment to the Frankston Planning Scheme will apply to all land in the Frankston Municipality.

The proposed changes will amend Clause 53.01 of the Frankston Planning Scheme which previously did not specify an open space contribution rate. Frankston currently collects open space contributions under section 18 of the Subdivision Act (1988) which allows them to collect contributions up to 5 percent. The amendment will see an increase in rates in the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre by up to 2 per cent across residential, commercial and industrial land subdivisions. The contribution would be either a percentage of the site value, a land contribution or a combination of the two.

The Amendment:

Introduces a Schedule to Clause 53.01 Public Open Space Contributions and Subdivision of the Frankston Planning Scheme to specify the following public open space contribution rates:

  • An 8 per cent contribution rate for the subdivision of land within the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre;      
  • A 2 per cent contribution rate in areas where there are existing subdivision requirements restricting the size of lots to an area of at least 1,000 square metres; and   
  • A 5 per cent contribution rate for all other land within the municipality.

Below is a new map that has been introduced to form the new schedule.

All land shown as area CR1 on the map has a contribution rate of 8%

All land show as CR2 has a contribution rate of 2%

All other land has a contribution rate of 5%

These new rates automatically apply to subdivisions that are non-exempt. Subdivisions that are classed as non-exempt are lots that are subdivided into three lots or more. However the council may request payment of the contribution rate for a two lot subdivision where it considers it not unlikely that each lot will be subdivided further.

Council Report into the new rates  

Frankston City Council have published a report on the new Public Open Space Contributions which can be read in full here. The report is an assessment of the ‘most appropriate contribution rates to apply’ based on the predicted rate of growth and planned open space projects in Frankston. The report offers analysis and justification of the new contributions rates to be applied throughout the municipality. 

The report found a lack of access to public open space in certain areas of Frankston. Along with an ever increasing demand for open spaces as the population and housing increases. This is of a particular concern in central, high density areas identified as the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre. These factors combined with the estimated cost to develop future open spaces has led to the new contributions rates and the 2% increase in the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre.

As outlined in the report the population in Frankston is expected to grow by approximately 23,000 between 2011 and 2036 and The Frankston MAC will experience the greatest rate of growth. It will experience a ‘significant decline in access to open space by 2036, unless significant investment in open space occurs’.

The report identified that Frankston has a ‘highly varied access to open space’ with areas including Frankston, the Frankston MAC and Seaford all at risk of being ‘undersupplied with open space by 2036’. It further found that ‘local, district and regional public open space was not distributed evenly across the municipality’ and that overall ‘the provision, distribution and access to open spaces do not always meet the local needs of Frankston residents’.

Why the increase?

8 percent is one of the higher contribution rates throughout Melbourne. Applying this rate to the fastest developing area in Frankston will see an increase in revenue for the council. According to the report the cost to upgrade current open spaces and create new ones within the Frankston MAC is estimated to be almost 18 million.  The 8 percent contribution rate was proposed in order to recover the cost of the planned and proposed open space.  According to the report, a 5 percent contribution rate would only provide funding for approximately 50 per cent of projects already planned by Frankston Council.

Are you affected by the contribution?

Amendment C127 commenced public exhibition on Tuesday 12 March. Any person who may be affected can make a submission to the planning authority about the amendment. Public exhibition will end on Monday 15 April 2019. People will have until then to make submissions to the council for consideration.  Submission can be sent to Frankston City Council’s planning department via post or email.