Development fee discounts for new hotel and multiple dwelling projects

02 May 2023

A new development application fee discount to lure more hotels and high-quality multiple residential developments has been endorsed by Ipswich City Council.

Under the 2023-2024 Fees and Charges approved by full council on Thursday, developers who propose new hotels or some multiple dwellings in medium and high-density residential zones will have development application fees waived.

“While Ipswich leads the state with population growth and the delivery of an average 2,000 new houses annually, our city lacks much-needed high-density residential unit developments,” Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Mayor Teresa Harding said.

“Council has only received eleven applications for multiple unit residential developments over the past three years.

“While this initiative, if taken up, will see council forgo some revenue from application fees, the benefits and returns to the city through more housing and hotel stock in Ipswich will vastly outweigh any initial losses if the initiative is successful."

The policy will target residential unit growth in medium or high-density zoned areas and commercial centres, where the potential for economic growth will provide the most benefit. The initiative is further designed to help address the housing affordability pressures being experienced in Ipswich and SEQ.

Tourism Research Australia data for the past year has revealed a 62 per cent increase in overnight trips to Ipswich and an 18 per cent increase in visitor numbers year-on-year, highlighting demand for short-term accommodation.

“Similar developer discounts have been employed in other south-east Queensland councils including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, successfully creating more stock in under-developed sectors including hotels, aged care facilities and student accommodation,” Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said.

“This policy can be amended at any time to respond to market and development trends and its progress will be closely monitored by council officers.”

Recent multiple dwelling units approved by Ipswich City Council include a 303-apartment residential project in North Ipswich, a 41-unit supported independent living development in Basin Pocket, and another 100-unit project in North Ipswich now under construction.

In reviewing council’s annual fees and charges, council considers increases in the underlying costs of service delivery, and consistency of fees with council policies and objectives.

“These fees and charges reflect council’s efforts to buffer as many of the rising costs of services as possible from our ratepayers, while ensuring responsible financial management across our core businesses,” Mayor Harding said.