On 3 July 2016, the new Planning Act 2016 commenced. In accordance with the new Planning Act, a new statutory instrument called the Minister’s Guidelines and Rules (MGR) replaced a number of existing guidelines and other documents, including Guideline 03/14 – Local government infrastructure plans.
As expected, the MGR does not make significant changes to the process for making and amending LGIPs.
The MGR does however make some important changes concerning how the cost of trunk infrastructure for an offset or refund is to be calculated. One important change is that a local authority is no longer required to take the cost of trunk infrastructure identified in an LGIP as the applicable establishment cost if the local authority considers the cost identified in the LGIP to be inaccurate.
Another important change concerns the parameters for working out the cost of trunk infrastructure that is land. Where a local authority is working out the cost of land infrastructure that is identified in an LGIP, the valuation must now be undertaken to determine the market value that would have applied on the day the development application first became properly made. Where the land infrastructure is not identified in the LGIP, the valuation must be undertaken to determine the market value that would have applied on the day the development application was approved. Previously, an application could be made to recalculate the market cost of land up to the date that the offset was to be claimed.
The MGR also makes it explicit that a valuation report prepared by a certified practicing valuer must include particular supporting information regarding the highest and best use of the land, identify and consider relevant constraints and contain sales evidence and clear analysis of how these sales and other information were relied upon to form the valuation assessment.
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