Developer Villawood Sidesteps Infrastructure Charge by Building School in Truganina


Villawood Properties will create a new primary school in Truganina in lieu of a levy charge to the government's infrastructure fund for the proposed school site.

Villawood was originally set to pay the required Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution for their Albright community in Truganina.

The new agreement with the Andrews government will see the company develop a 3.5-hectare government-owned site for the new primary school which will cater for the growing demand of families moving into the area.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the agreement was “ground breaking”, in that it allowed for the idea that when government and business get together, fees and red tape can be forgone in order to “give back to the communities they are building by providing the flagship services and infrastructure that families deserve.”

The infrastructure contribution was established to help provide infrastructure in Melbourne’s expanding fringe suburbs, as a one off-contribution payable on certain “events” usually associated with urban property development.

These are usually buying, subdividing, and applying for a building permit on large blocks of land.

Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe said the agreement would pave the way further agreements with developers across to offer land or other assets in lieu of Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution, which may facilitate early delivery of community assets.

“One of our largest purchaser groups is new families and often their top priorities is access to good education for their children, that is close to their home.

“As a developer that is focused on delivering happy, healthy communities that cater to the needs of our residents, Villawood places delivery of education as top priority and we are excited to enter into this agreement.

[Related reading: Villawood Returns to Melbourne’s Western Corridor with Albright]

As part of this agreement Villawood will ensure the site is serviced with essential utilities, such as gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telecommunications. This means that when the population in Truganina reaches the trigger point for a school development and the school is funded, the Victorian School Building Authority will be able to build a school on the site immediately.

The land for the future primary school is located adjacent to land nominated for a Council Community Activity Centre and District Open Space, meaning sports fields are expected in the area’s near future.

Villawood’s Albright community was launched in late 2016, with works are well underway with the first stages due for completion in the first few months next year.

Ultimately, the community is set to welcome nearly 500 new families, includes over 10-hectares of open space, parks, and wetlands; and is adjacent to a further 20-hectares of conservation open space. Planned facilities include the primary school, a council community activity centre, and sports fields including a cricket oval and associated facilities.

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