Merri-bek Development Contributions Plan (DCP)

What is the Development Contribution Plan?

The Development Contribution Plan (DCP) is a levy for developments that are proposing to increase the number of dwellings on a site or increase leasable commercial or industrial floor area.

Council has introduced the DCP as a formal, lawful and equitable way to collect development contributions to provide essential infrastructure to cope with the growing population as a result of new development.

The levy is paid to Council, who is responsible for providing the new infrastructure.

How is the Development Contribution Plan used?

This levy will assist Council to fund a range of new vital local infrastructure that is associated with new development. Council will fund the balance of the cost.

The DCP will be used to fund essential infrastructure including:

  • Roads
  • Drainage
  • Footpaths
  • Streetscape works
  • Child care centres
  • Maternal and Child Health Centres, and
  • Neighbourhood houses.

There are two parts to the Development Contribution Plan levy:

  1. The Development Infrastructure Levy applies to all leviable developments and contributes to funding development infrastructure such as roads and footpaths.

  2. The Community Infrastructure Levy applies to residential development only (Accommodation as described in Clause 75 of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme) and contributes to funding community infrastructure such as neighbourhood houses.

How is the levy calculated?

The levy amount is based on the proposed increase in the number of dwellings on a site for residential land or increased leasable commercial or industrial floor area.

You can use our calculator to estimate the approximate levy amount for your proposed development.

Development contribution amounts are adjusted annually on 1 July each year to reflect the rise or fall in prices. The way that the amount is adjusted annually is included in the DCP.

Calculator for approximate DCP levy amount
Development type:

How will I know the levy amount that I have to pay?

Council sends a letter confirming the levy amount to:

  • planning permit applicants (when a planning permit is issued)
  • building surveyors (if they notify Council that they have been appointed to a project), and
  • landowners (when a planning permit is issued and/or when we notify their building surveyor).

Does the levy impact current planning permit applications?

Yes, if your planning permit application was decided on or after September 10 2015, and you are proposing to increase the number of dwellings on a site or increase leasable commercial or industrial floor area, then the DCP levy applies.

There were no transitional provisions for Amendment C133. This means if you lodged your planning permit application before 10 September 2015 and Council decides your application or a building permit issues on or after 10 September 2015, the DCP levy applies.

Does the levy impact my existing planning and/or building permit?

If you were issued with a planning AND building permit for any form of leviable development prior to 10 September 2015, then you are not required to pay the levy. 

If you have an existing planning permit for a leviable development that includes a residential component and you require a building permit for that development on or after 10 September 2015, then you are required to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy component of the DCP prior to the issue of the building permit.

Please note if you also apply for a subdivision permit the Development Infrastructure Levy may also be applicable at this stage.

What if I received a planning permit before DCP commenced on 10 September 2015?

If the planning permit was issued for commercial or industrical development, only the Development Infrastructure Levy (DIL) component of the DCP is payable.

If the planning permit was issued for residential development before DCP commenced, the two separate components of the DCP levy may be payable. These two components are the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the Development Infrastructure Levy (DIL). Payment of each levy may be raised by separate invoices. 

What if I don’t need a planning permit or building permit for my proposed development?

All developments where the levy applies have to pay the levy, regardless of whether they require a planning permit or building permit.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is paid before a building permit is issued.

If no building permit is required, it is paid before any works commence.

Does the DCP apply to subdivision?

Any subdivision permit issued on or after 10 September 2015 will include a requirement for payment of the Development Infrastructure Levy (DIL) prior to the issue of a Statement of Compliance.

If your subdivision relates to residential development, you are encouraged to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy at this time.

At the latest, the Community Infrastructure Levy will be payable prior to the issue of a building permit in relation to the residential development.

What if I lodge an application to amend a planning permit?

The DCP only applies to the amendments that are being sought. For example, if you lodge an application to amend a planning permit to increase the number of dwellings or the leasable commercial or industrial floor area in an approved development, the levy amount only applies to the increase.

What types of development are exempt from the DCP levy?

There are some types of development that are exempt from the DCP levy, including:

Demolition of a dwelling followed by construction of a replacement dwelling on the same land. This exemption applies to a single dwelling but not to a second or subsequent dwellings on the same land, provided the existing dwelling was demolished on or after 1 July 2012.

Any development on land which forms part of the Coburg Hill development, located at 173 - 199 Elizabeth Street, Coburg.

Renovation or alteration to an existing dwelling.

A non-government school as defined in Part 3 of the Ministerial Direction on Development Contributions Plans of 25 January 2012.

Outbuildings normal to an existing dwelling and fences, and

Reinstatement of a building which has been unintentionally damaged or destroyed provided that for a building, other than a dwelling, the exemption relates only to the extent that the floor area of the new building is not greater than the damaged or destroyed building.

When do I have to pay the levy?

A planning permit issued on or after 10 September 2015 will set out the requirements for timing of the payment of the levy. The Community Infrastructure Levy must be paid prior to the issue of a building permit for your development. If no building permit is required, you need to pay the levy prior to commencing any development works.

If you have applied for subdivision of land, then you are required to pay the levy prior to the issue of a Statement of Compliance or as set out in the planning permit for subdivision for each stage if you are staging a subdivision.

What happens if I don’t pay the levy?

If you commence works associated with a leviable development without first paying the levy, you are in breach of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and Council can take enforcement action against you. This can include fines and prosecution.

How does my Building Surveyor know that I’ve paid the DCP levy?

You should provide your Building Surveyor with your receipt of payment of the levy.

Your Building Surveyor can contact the Council DCP officer for confirmation that the levy has been paid.

How was the DCP implemented?

The DCP became part of the Merri-bek Planning Scheme via Amendment C133.

This amendment included a Development Contributions Plan Overlay and Schedule to the overlay. The overlay applies to all of Merri-bek.

When was the DCP introduced?

On 10 April 2015, Amendment C133 was submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Amendment C133 was approved, and was advertised in the Government Gazette on 10 September 2015.

The DCP came into effect on the day the approval was published in the Government Gazette.

See Amendment C133 Development Contributions Plan Overlay for more information on Amendment C133. The amendment also identifies the relevant legislation.

How do I get more information?

For further information, contact Council DCP Officer on 9240 1123 or submit an enquiry online.