MAYORAL candidate David Power (pictured) has outlined his plan to abolish material change of use (MCU) applications in designated precincts to reduce the Gold Coast’s development costs.
Speaking at the recent UDIA Gold Coast Logan Revival Forum, Power says areas where current business uses were already envisaged by the planning scheme shouldn’t be subjected to the additional charge.
“What we are seeing is ongoing gouging of fees by the council for material change of use applications that should be approved at no cost if the business use is acknowledged under the town plan,” he says.
“The costs of these applications after taking into account council charges, planning and traffic consultants, and application fees can be up to $100,000.
“This is ridiculous when businesses across the Gold Coast are struggling in the toughest economic times we have experienced in the last 30 years.”
Power says abolishing the fees and charges associated with MCU applications would create major spin-off effects for the Gold Coast economy as a whole.
“Firstly, it will allow a business to use that $100,000 as operating capital and secondly it will stimulate work for tradespeople on the Gold Coast who would be employed to undertake fit-outs of new office premises,” he says.
“We need to remember these costs and rules are not about developers but about restaurants, shops, hardware stores and motor repairers being strangled by regulation and charges and are the forgotten victims due to poor policy making.
“The sad thing is that the council already has the power to ease the burden of businesses, but they are ignoring them.”
Power says minimising costs imposed on businesses is the best way to stimulate the Gold Coast economy.
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